Letter from The Executive Director

May 27, 2022 | 2022 May, Letter from the Executive Director, Newsletter

What a busy Mental Health Awareness Month! Not only did the DEA recognize May 10th as the first ever National Fentanyl Awareness Day, but also many of our coalition members did an amazing job of drawing attention to the importance of promoting mental health and wellness and of reducing stigma by sharing stories of those impacted by mental illness.

As many of you know, many individuals with mental disorders also are diagnosed with substance use disorders, and vice versa¹. So by working together to prioritize behavioral health and reduce stigma, we can reshape our communities and save lives.

This amazing anti-stigma work will continue in June by numerous partners including Pasco Alliance for Substance Alliance Prevention (Pasco ASAP) whose public service announcements about the opioid overdose crisis on ABC beginning June 1. We encourage all of our partners to share the stories, PSAs and other media products by Pasco ASAP, Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, NAMI and Tampa Bay Thrives. If your organization is producing community content, please let us know jw@livetampabay.org.

We are happy to share with others!

We are proud to announce the launch of UNSHAME Tampa Bay, a campaign to reduce the stigma of addiction in the Tampa Bay region.  Live Tampa Bay is partnering with Shatterproof, a national organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States, and Your Real Stories, which uses storytelling to eliminate societal prejudice and discrimination, to bring stories of recovery out of the shadows and into the light. We are proud to partner with Shatterproof to bring this data-driven approach to reducing stigma to Florida. Other states have seen a reduction in stigma by 40%!

Join us for the official kick-off of UNSHAME Tampa Bay during Live Tampa Bay: LIVE on June 28th.  Guest speakers include Shatterproof CEO Gary Mendell, Representative Toledo, and Senator Rouson, who will also share his story of recovery.  Mark your calendars and register here.

Through our collaborations, sharing our knowledge, our resources, and our stories, we will continue to make strides in turning the tide of the overdose crisis.

Jennifer Webb

Executive Director, Live Tampa Bay

¹ NIDA Research Report

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