Grant will aid Reality Check recovery support services

  • U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen speaks with Reality Check CEO Mary Drew during a visit to Jaffrey in January. —STAFF FILE PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

For the Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/1/2023 9:00:36 AM
Modified: 9/1/2023 9:00:02 AM

Reality Check, an addiction services nonprofit in Jaffrey, is honored to have been awarded a $145,000 award through U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office for its Congressional Directed Spending Project. The one-year grant, administered by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, will enhance access to recovery support services in the Monadnock region.

Congress had a decade-long moratorium on directed spending, but has returned to earmarking funds for specific sectors. Shaheen said those funds are helpful in supporting initiatives like Reality Check, which may be overlooked by other grant funding, but are “an investment that’s important for the state.” Shaheen also said that addiction is “not a moral failure,” but a public health issue, and needs resources in order to be properly addressed.

The funding will be used to fund two annual week-long recovery coach trainings, pay stipends for coaches and to fund a conference to educate employers on how to better support employees in need of recovery services. Reality Check’s 2023 employer conference will outline how employers can remain in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which covers people who have substance use disorder (SUD), alcohol use disorder (AUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD).

Funds like these are earmarked for community-wide initiatives to build recovery supports and continue the process of educating employers about becoming more “recovery-friendly” workspaces. There is also an ongoing need for a larger professional workforce across the addiction industry spectrum, making continual training for additional recovery coaches a key part of responding to the growing numbers of people seeking and trying to sustain recovery.

Reality Check has hosted two employer conferences with 44 employers attending – including the State of New Hampshire, representing over 18,000 employees. The goal is to educate employers about the scope of the issue, to create policies that are more supportive and less punitive, to shift workplace culture to reduce stigma and raise awareness, and to improve access to resources and treatment for employees.

Reality Check’s next employer conference is slated for Sept. 21 at the Grand View Estate in Jaffrey and is open to all New Hampshire employers. Tickets are on sale at realitychecknow.org/mec and are $125 for two people to attend.

Reality Check is also holding its next recovery coach training series in late fall. The five-day training is Oct. 23 to 27. The two-day Recovery Ethics is Nov. 6 and 7. Suicide Prevention is Nov. 8, and HIV/AIDS/HEP-C Prevention is Nov. 9. People can register at realitychecknow.org/rcts or call 603-532-9888. Partial scholarships are available, and seating is limited to 40 registrants. For information, email info@realitychecknow.org.

One primary goal in the next two years is to serve more veterans with our services and then get veterans trained so they can reach other veterans. We’re asking anyone who knows veterans to send them our way; we’re here to help.

Shaheen said services like Reality Check are important community resources.

“As we see with Reality Check, so much of what needs to happen is at a local level,” Shaheen said when visiting Reality Check in January. “And to be able to fund what the needs are, locally, is really important, and that’s what this funding will do.”

Reality Check and its staff, coaches, contractors and volunteers are grateful for the ongoing local and federal support to continue providing drug and alcohol prevention education in school districts, treatment counseling and recovery support services and programs, addiction training leading to credentialing, and customizable services to employers in the Monadnock region. If you are interested in being part of the work Reality Check does and want to make an impact in your community, please send email to info@realitychecknow.org or call 603-532-9888 for information.

Mary Drew is the founder and CEO of Reality Check in Jaffrey. She can be reached at mary@realitychecknow.org.


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