On April 25th BRiDGES, the Madison County Council on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse, Inc., and a NCADD Affiliate celebrated its 30th Anniversary with current and former Board Members, current and former staff (some pictured above), and a crowd of other community partners.
While attendees were talking together, sharing stories and updates, a slide show highlighting current programs and ones from the past played on a screen. The slide show was illustrative of how in thirty years some things have changed significantly while some issues have remained constant- like the struggle of addiction and the promise of recovery.
The keynote speaker, Christine Fix, was engaging and spirited in her message. Ms. Fix has spent her professional career in both the political world and the world of human services. Among other things, she talked about how the stigma attached to HIV/AIDS back in the early 90’s when she was traveling the counties providing education was similar to the stigma with addiction and mental health issues.
Ms. Fix stressed the importance of being clear and honest in our communication with young people, in particular, and how compassion and empathy are critical to being true helpers. Her message was delivered with humor and wisdom.
BRiDGES has remained true to its original mission of providing alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention and education while expanding to include problem gambling and suicide prevention. The focus includes assisting the individual as well as looking at how a community’s norms, laws and regulations affect public health.
BRiDGES’ reach has crossed county boundaries with some programs, and interagency collaboration is stronger than ever. It is because of the dedication of the Board, Staff and community stakeholders that BRiDGES is thriving and ready to meet the challenges of the next 30 years.
Madison County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc. dba BRiDGES
112 Farrier Avenue