Catalyst Continues to Grow: First Richland County detox center, second residential treatment facility to open this fall.

The Richland County Mental Health & Recovery Services Board selected Catalyst Life Services to be the service provider for two new facilities this fall: a withdrawal management detox facility and a second New Beginnings residential alcohol and drug treatment facility.

The addition of a second New Beginnings treatment facility will allow gender-specific housing and separate buildings for men and women. The withdrawal management facility, or detox center, is the first of its kind for this community and for Catalyst.

“We believe a big barrier in this community addressing the opiate and drug epidemic is not having a detox center,” said Melissa Drozda, the Marketing & Development Director at Catalyst. “Individuals might have to travel as far as Columbus. That leaves a huge gap in the services in Richland and the surrounding counties.”

This lack of withdrawal management services in this area presents numerous problems.

“If people even have the necessary transportation to go out of town to safely detox, many of the facilities are completely full,” said Elaine Surber, Associate Director of New Beginnings Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services at Catalyst. “The window of opportunity for someone suffering from addiction is so narrow. Having a facility available right here in Richland County when the people need it will save lives.”

The Rotary Club of Mansfield has made a $35,000 contribution to the fundraising efforts of this project.

“The club’s 100th anniversary will be February of 2020,” explained Melanie Riggleman, a board member of Catalyst and Rotary Club member. “We wanted to celebrate our centennial by making a large donation to a project for the betterment of the community.”

The Rotary Club invited members to nominate projects they are passionate about. In total, there were eight projects submitted. Presentations were made by the eight organizations, and Rotary Club members voted for the project they most wanted to support. Catalyst came out on top.

“The club members agreed this project is well worthwhile for the community,” said Riggleman. “Everybody knows somebody that’s been touched by this epidemic in some way. We all have to group together as a community and do what we can to try to stop it.”

Riggleman championed the proposal to the Rotary Club because she is passionate about the work Catalyst does.

“There are so many people affected by addiction; it’s not only the person with the disease,” she said. “It’s their families, their children…It breaks my heart to see what’s happening in our community. These people need help. The goal is to help people know that there is someplace safe to go, and that will be the withdrawal management center.”

What makes Catalyst unique is that they do not only offer addiction services for withdrawal management (detox), residential (inpatient), and outpatient services. In addition to a stabilization unit, they also offer mental health, crisis, and vocational services to help treat the individual and become successful at any point in their recovery journey.

Elaine Surber, Associate Director of New Beginnings Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services, explained the differences in some of these services, and new services that the withdrawal management detox center will offer.

“We currently help people safely withdraw in the crisis stabilization unit. However, if someone needs a more intensive level of care and supervision, we have to send them to a hospital.

With the new withdrawal management detox center, we will have a full staff of doctors, nurses, and therapists 24 hours a day to safely and effectively supervise someone who is going through the process of withdrawal right here onsite, which usually lasts 3-7 days.”

After this center opens, Catalyst’s goal is to reduce the number of people they send to a hospital setting because they will now be able to supervise the withdrawal process at any stage for any adult.

The center will have 16 beds. Catalyst expects to see people from self referrals and court referrals at first, and they hope to eventually have emergency departments and physicians refer individuals in need to the withdrawal management center as well.

Catalyst withdrawal management detox center room

“The goal is to reduce the use of emergency rooms, reduce the use of EMT and police force, and to keep people out of jail,” said Surber. “Incarceration is expensive, and it’s much more effective to provide people with treatment. People become more productive citizens when they recover. This is part of our holistic approach: by treating the individual, that in turn gives to the whole community.”

This is part of a circular process in the community. By opening a new residential facility and detox center, Catalyst hopes to help individuals who will, in turn, give back and help their community when they recover. This project will also help the community with the creation of 47 jobs in Richland County.

“This epidemic has held back our community’s ability to grow,” said Drozda. “Having these buildings is an important step in that growth process. Addiction touches everyone, and when we heal individuals, we heal the whole community.”

The Catalyst team hopes to open the New Beginnings facility in September and the withdrawal management detox center in October. The buildings are almost completed, but they need furnishing and final touches before they are ready to be fully operational.

Catalyst kitchen

“Funding has been secured for the buildings’ construction. But buildings alone don’t make for a transformational experience and aren’t enough to open a facility”, said Drozda.

Cataylst construction

Before the facilities are ready to operate, Catalyst needs to raise an additional $200,000. This $200,000 will get the buildings up and running and will not go toward any salaries or administrative fees.

“Yes, we need money to complete this project and get these buildings operational. But, ultimately, the donations really go toward being able to provide services the community doesn’t have,” said Drozda.

“The hope is that having a place for people to safely withdraw will prevent overdoses and deaths in our community,” said Surber. “People suffering from addiction will have somewhere safe to go. We can help them.”

To donate now, click this link: https://catalystlifeservices.org/donate/. If you have questions about the donation process or want to know more about the project, contact Drozda at drozda@catalystlifeservices.org or at 419-774-6710.

Golf For A Great Cause!

Catalyst Life Services is excited to announce a golf outing, hosted by the Mid-Ohio Area Labor Council on June 14th at Oak Tree Golf Club!

All proceeds from this event will benefit the New Beginnings Detox/Withdrawal Management facility currently being built. Catalyst Life Services is always developing and growing to meet the needs of our community. Richland County is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. The impact of this is far reaching: the child that grows up parentless, the employer who has lost time and money to a struggling workforce, the community that has had to redirect resources in response to a climbing death toll. This does not account for the losses of the individuals themselves: friends, siblings, neighbors, all of whom will never share their unique gifts due to the inherent challenges of addiction. Catalyst Life Services sees this as an opportunity to provide a comprehensive plan addressing the crisis of addiction holding back our community’s ability to grow and prosper.

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Healing From Trauma and Substance Use: A Tandem Ride

Picture in your mind a five year old girl falling off her bike, crashing to the ground, and catching herself on the pavement with what are now bleeding hands and skinned knees. If her mother comes quickly to her side, provides reassurance with a caring and concerned tone, and cleans and bandages her injury, she is more easily able to calm down, trust that she is okay, and know that when she needs help her mother will be there.

However, if her mother was nowhere to be seen when this happened and then blamed and criticized her for being clumsy, now the greater feeling of pain comes not from her scrapes and bruises, but from feeling alone and uncared for. This is also often the case with trauma; the pain of the initial injury is compounded by feeling alone, and not understood. Connie Lawrence, certified psychodrama practitioner, trainer, and founder of the Cleveland Psychodrama Institute has stated, “When we suffer a trauma, we really have two wounds. The first is the trauma itself-the second is the feeling that no one understands. For many of us the second is much more painful.” Continue Reading

Grilling Season Safety

As Ohioans, we all know that once the temperature climbs above the low 50’s we’re dusting off our grills in eager (almost desperate) anticipation of summer. What’s better than a cloudless summer day, lounging around with family and friends, while the smell of mesquite wafts in the breeze? Unfortunately, this favored activity also comes with risks.

The U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System showed that “in 2009-2013, grills, hibachis or barbecues were involved in an average of 8,900 home fires per year.” In 2014 alone, 8,700 people made emergency room visits for thermal burns due to grills. On average, gas grills are more dangerous than charcoal or pellet models; however, all grills can be operated relatively safely if you follow proper precautions.

Here are a few tips to keep your family safe this season, so the only thing on fire will be your sweet skills as a grill master!

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Awareness Makes A World of Difference

What would we do without differences? Where would we be without the unique spectrum of minds all looking at this world in neurologically distinct ways? Would we know about the theory of relativity if Einstein had not obsessively repeated sentences until he was 7 years old? Would we have Symphony No.40 in G minor or Don Giovanni, if Mozart wasn’t compelled to constantly move his hands and feet? Difference is what makes life interesting and creative; something we should keep in mind during National Autism Awareness Month.

Autism isn’t just one thing: it’s a range of individually specific ways of connecting with others and processing information. For some, a diagnosis of Autism can simply mean having a few more social challenges. For others, it can mean being completely non-verbal and showing intense discomfort in social settings.

It’s likely that you have interacted with a person with Autism without even knowing.  Have you ever been out in public and witnessed someone having a “meltdown”?  Have you ever seen a kid suddenly become overwhelmed by what seems like nothing at all?  Have you ever found yourself on a plane seated next to a screaming child?  Most likely you have had at least one of these experiences.  Now, not all of these scenarios means the individual has Autism, but we often jump to blame or criticism when we witness such behavior.  Think back to what you thought the last time you saw a child having a meltdown. Were you annoyed with the child or with the parent for not removing the child? Did you feel bad for the child or the parent? Did you turn and walk away because you felt uncomfortable?

As the CPST Coordinator at Catalyst, I’m keenly aware of the challenges these individuals and their families’ face. I asked a couple of parents, whose children were diagnosed with Autism, what they wish people knew about their lives, and what they wish people would do when interacting with their child.

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41st Annual All-Star Classic

Catalyst Life Services’ partnership with the Mansfield News Journal for the 41st year of the All-Star Classic Basketball game did not disappoint!

The South narrowly beat the North 143-140 in overtime; the third time the game has ever ran into overtime in its long history.

In retrospect, perhaps, it was South Coach, Taylor Iceman’s, fortuitous win of the draft coin toss that gave him the  leading edge. He snagged Mansfield Senoir’s Quan Hillory and Ashland’s Garrett Denbow both of whom put up a jaw-dropping number of points– Hillory 43 and Denbow with 36. Hillory walked away as the evening’s MVP and between them they broke the record of most points by two players on the same team.

It was a fast paced, back-and-forth night; with only 13:32 left in the game, the South trailed the North 81-59. The deciding moment came when Klejhan Randleman made a 3-pointer to eek out a 141-140 South lead. After Hillory sank a few more free throws, the deal was sealed and Iceman’s team walked away with the win.

Win or lose, there was no denying that both teams were stacked with talent. These were the best of the best from all around North Central Ohio and it showed! It was a wonderful display of sportsmanship and philanthropy on the part of the players.

Each year, a few kids who receive services from Catalyst are selected as the recipients of gifts from the represented schools. Each one beamed as  the players personally presented them with a gift; their goodie bags swelling with generosity.

This much-loved event always drives the point home that when we support a good cause: everybody wins!

 

 

Greater than the sum of its parts: The evolution of a telethon and community organization

What does it take to pull off an all day Telethon full of live entertainment, rows of vendors, prizes,boisterous hosts and public guests? How do you encourage scores of people to donate their energy, talent, food and sponsorship to the tune of two million dollars over the course of 28 years? First, you have a remarkable community full of passionate individuals willing to put others’ needs ahead of their own. Then, you build a non-profit agency capable of affecting thousands of people’s lives through an array of mental health and well-being programs too broad to even list.

In short, you’re an organization like Catalyst.

In the beginning, the Telethon was known as “The Rehab Telethon.” First started by WMFD in 1992, its proceeds funded the operation of The Rehab Center which specialized in the rehabilitation of people with physical disabilities. Catalyst itself, is the 2010 merger of two previously well-known entities that served the community for over 65 years: The Center for Individual and Family Services and the aforementioned Rehab Center. It’s comprised of four major departments: Audiology and Deaf Services, Vocational Services, Mental Health and Crisis Services, and Addiction Services.

The Rehab Center is now the hub for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Crisis Services, Audiology and the Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Vocational wing—which includes Progress Industries and Precise Services. Just up the street, is “The Center,” an expansive building housing Adult Mental Health and Crisis Services, The District V Forensic Diagnostic Center, residential programming, a stabilization unit, and outpatient drug and alcohol resources. It’s a complex of buildings wrapping their way along Sterkel Ave. that also includes New Beginnings Residential Treatment Center and will soon include the only Drug Withdrawal Management facility in all of Richland County.

But, what, exactly, is Catalyst?

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Deaf and addicted: How one woman reclaimed her life with Catalyst Life Services

She’s seated across from me in the ambient light of the Director of Deaf Service’s office. Her interpreter is by my side so she can have a clear view of her hands, and so I don’t mistakenly direct my attention and questions to the interpreter instead of the woman herself.

She’s been a client of Catalyst Life Services for over two decades. In May, she will be sober for one year. I ask her what first brought her to Catalyst and she begins rapidly moving her hands to tell her story.

“I think I was 25.  I was addicted to drugs and had attempted suicide.” There’s a pause before she continues, “It was from my childhood. I had a really bad experience. I was sexually molested and that was why I was depressed. So, when I added drugs and alcohol…” She makes a gesture like a bomb going off.

25 was a difficult age for this woman, who wished to remain anonymous. She unexpectedly ended up pregnant, left her family, and married the father of her child–a marriage that eventually ended, leaving her to raise her children on her own. It was only when she came to the Richland County Health Department for assistance during her pregnancy that she learned she could use the services of an interpreter. The interpreters she found came from the nearby Rehab Center–now part of Catalyst Life Services; it was through contact with them that she was able to find the help she needed when her life took a turn for the worse. Through Catalyst, she’s taken part in addiction therapy groups, private counseling sessions, visited the Audiologist, and utilized the many services offered at the Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. When I asked her how Catalyst helps her she indicates a never-ending list. There’s the mental wellness part, of course, but then there is the more day to day assistance. Director of Deaf Services Tanya Haga explains that for many deaf clients, English is not their first language, so paperwork that they get from the doctor’s office or letters they receive from schools concerning their children are difficult to read. The uninitiated, myself included, may be forgiven for not understanding that American Sign Language isn’t based off of American English. “The grammar is completely different,” says Haga. Continue Reading

The Rise of Social Engineering

Social Engineering, in the context of Information Security, is the use of deception to manipulate individual for fraudulent purposes. With the rise of social media over the past several years, scammers and hackers are using psychological manipulation to receive personal or valuable information from vulnerable victims. Projections show that at least 2 billion people will use some form of social media in 2019 alone. Social engineering attacks can come in many forms and anyone could be a target, whether it be myself, an IT genius;), or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Here are a few examples of Social Engineering and how you can stay alert and ward off attacks now and in the future.

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