The Minisink (NY) Kiwanis Club held a forum on Friday night called, Is Heroin Killing Our Kids?
The Kingfisher Project’s Julie Pisall was among the speakers. She gave a heart-wrenching account of her family’s story. Another young woman told of her brother’s death to a heroin overdose. A mother who is a bus driver in the district told how her son had been doing so well in recovery, then in just one lapse, died of a heroin overdose. People in recovery and who work in treatment also spoke.
Many people there wanted to learn more about the signs that someone might be using.
Above is the photo we took of the Wayne County Heroin Prevention Task Force display board or signs.
An overdose forum and community solutions workshop is coming up this Thursday, July 30, in Sullivan County. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is hosting this in their events gallery. The main presenter is Project Lazarus, all about community response to the heroin and opiates epidemic. The Kingfisher Project will be there. Also, we’re panning a live broadcast on WJFF 90.5 fm — Kingfisher broadcasting from the event from 2 -4 p.m. with a panel discussion. Come on over to participate. It’s open to the public from 2 to 4 p.m.
Also on this segment of the Kingfisher Project, we’ll hear remarks made by Dr. Carlos Holden, head of the Catskill Regional Medical Center emergency department, as he updates the Sullivan County Legislature on the public health crisis posed by heroin and other narcotics abuse in the county. The Kingfisher calendar will also air details on several upcoming events connected to the battle against heroin and addiction. Tune in to WJFF 90.5 FM beginning at 8 p.m. Monday night to hear the latest Kingfisher Project.
Kevin Gref, Julie Pisall and Jason Dole of WJFF-FM radio smile after winning the $5,000 Innovation Award, the top prize at the Non-Profit Leadership Summit on Wednesday. Allyse Pulliam for the Times Herald-Record
By Andrew Beam
Posted Mar. 4, 2015 at 9:55 PM
BETHEL – Julie Pisall stood and hugged the folks from WJFF-FM radio when its project about the heroin epidemic in Sullivan County won top prize at the Non-Profit Leadership Summit on Wednesday.
For Pisall, the Kingfisher Project – which puts a microphone in the hands of Sullivan residents whose lives are affected by drugs – is personal. It was created in memory of Pisall’s daughter, Rebecca, whose death was connected to heroin.
The public radio station in Jeffersonville won the $5,000 Innovation Award for a project that exemplified the theme of the day at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts – improving the quality of life in Sullivan County.
The Kingfisher Project was one of three finalists for the award. The others were the Eat Healthy Sullivan County Farmers’ Market and the Sullivan County Breastfeeding Coalition. Each received $500.
The Eat Healthy Market – started by the county Maternity Infant Services-Network (MISN) – is meant to help those receiving Woman Infants and Children (WIC) benefits have access to better nutrition through local farmers’ markets. It also looks to get more of the vendors at the markets to accept WIC vouchers. The Sullivan County Breastfeeding Coalition – in partnership with Sullivan County Public Health Services and MISN – is pushing for more education on breastfeeding. It also helps new mothers learn how to breastfeed.
But it was the Kingfisher Project that won a standing ovation. With the prize money, the radio station hopes to purchase more portable recording equipment so it can continue to record and broadcast public forums dealing with the drug crisis in Sullivan County, where 44 of every 10,000 deaths are drug-related – the third-highest rate of all New York counties.
“We’re getting people to tell their own stories,” said WJFF program director Jason Dole.
Linda Hartley, co-chair of the summit’s steering committee and head of Hartley Consulting, says the Innovation Award was created to honor organizations creating new ideas through strategic thinking and collaboration. The Kingfisher Project was an example of that goal.
Pisall says she’s pleased to see people responding to the project and her daughter’s story. She hopes it can make a difference.
“It makes families know they’re not alone when dealing with a family member or a loved one (who’s) an addict,” she said.
“The Honesdale Family Support Group started meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 28th. We’ll be meeting at 7 p.m. every Wednesday at 1855 Fair Ave., Honesdale PA 18431. We (Jack and Sue Heinicke) decided to start this group to offer support and help to families and other loved ones of addicts. We joined the Wayne County Heroin Prevention Task Force, and we noticed at the December meeting that there was a common theme to many of the questions:
Where can family members get help?
What can parents do if we think our child is doing drugs?
What are the signs?
Who can we talk to?
With so many families affected in our community, we all need to know that we’re not alone. Addiction crosses all boundaries and does not discriminate. It affects our children, our parents, our friends, our brothers and our sisters. It’s time to step out of the shadows and start talking about the heroin epidemic that’s sweeping across our community.
We need information, support, and perhaps most of all someone to listen who understands what we’re going through. If nothing else, knowing that we’re in this together can be a huge comfort. If you have questions or if you need more information, send us a message and we’ll get back to you.”