(INDIANAPOLIS) — South Bend area businesses have an opportunity to help their employees deal with substance misuse and learn prevention methods by attending a free program September 11. The session will also include legal guidance as well as optional naloxone training from the Indiana State Department of Health on how and when to use the opioid overdose reversal drug.

Indiana Workforce Recovery, which is putting on the event, is a joint initiative created in collaboration with the Wellness Council of Indiana, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration.

The goal of the initiative is to prepare Hoosier employers to deal with public health crises that impact the Indiana workforce. The employer opioid strategy series is part of that effort. The South Bend stop kicks off the series’ fall schedule and takes place September 11, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Morris Park Country Club (2200 McKinley Avenue). A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Other locations and dates for the series will be announced later this summer.

Mike Thibideau, director of Indiana Workforce Recovery, notes that more than 350 employers participated in eight similar opioid strategy events earlier this year.

“Our goal is to educate as many employers as possible on how to reduce the short-term impact of the opioid epidemic on their businesses, while creating long-term solutions to help retain skilled workers,” he says. “One of the most impactful aspects of these events are the connections made, especially with treatment facilities and recovery programs right in their own community. This local approach provides a better and more successful support system for employees who need treatment.”

While the event is complimentary, registration is preferred. Companies can register at www.wellnessindiana.org/recovery (under Upcoming Events) and also learn more about Indiana Workforce Recovery.

This event is presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, RALI (Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce.

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The Indiana Chamber partners with 25,000 members and investors – representing over four million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.”

The Wellness Council of Indiana (WCI) works collaboratively to positively impact the economic vitality of the state of Indiana by evaluating and guiding workplaces and communities through the development of their own comprehensive health and wellness strategy. WCI members and staff inspire active living, community engagement and corporate social responsibility.