Right Path holds Recovery is Beautiful Walk in Marietta
MARIETTA — Taking an early morning walk is a wonderful idea, especially when it is to honor and encourage those who are living in recovery and those who were lost to drug abuse and mental illness.
On Saturday morning, The Right Path for Washington County held its Recovery is Beautiful Walk in Marietta.
The Right Path is a community coalition with a goal of promoting being drug-free and trying to fight against anything that puts kids at risk by promoting healthy youth development.
“This is our second year,” said Right Path Coordinator Cathy Harper. “Last year we had our walk in August on National Overdose Day to honor people who have lost loved ones to prescription medications, heroin, suicide and anything relating to mental illness. This year, we are having it in September for National Recovery Month. It is similar to the walk we had last year, it is a walk for recovery. We will honor those who are living in recovery and those who were lost to drug abuse and mental illness. We’re excited to make this an annual event,” she said.
While carrying signs and posters of support, the walkers covered the approximately one and a half mile walk that started at the Putnam Street Bridge parking lot. They crossed the Putnam Street Bridge, went down Gilman Avenue, across the Washington Street Bridge and then back to the parking lot by going along Front Street. When they got back, some talked about their children, themselves, those in recovery and those that have lost loved ones.
The Right Path for Washington County partnered with the Washington County Behavioral Health Board. They have an office with the Washington County Behavioral Health Board.
“The Behavioral Health Board has been very supportive of us, as has the United Way, the Juvenile Court System and many other groups,” said Harper.
The Right Path has been around since 2003 and has events throughout the year, such as dances and swim parties, educational programs with the school districts among other events. The Recovery is Beautiful Walk helps to raise awareness.
“Our focus is on prevention. It’s important to have a system for prevention, treatment, recovery and support,” said Harper. “Our Sheriff’s department has to deal with the supply side of this every day and they have one of the hardest working task forces in the state of Ohio and are widely recognized. Eliminating the supply and demand has to work hand in hand.”
For more information about The Right Path for Washington County, visit the Facebook page or call 740-374-6990.
Marietta College freshman Anna-Claire Myers helped assist for the event by signing up participants and handing out “Recovery is Beautiful” arm bands on Saturday.
“It feels good to give back. Especially for such a great cause,” said Myers. “I’m excited to see everyone that comes out today.”
Jim Raney and Mike Beardmore are Washington County Behavioral Health Board members and are co-chairs of the campaign to pass the Mental Health Levy in November. They were also on hand for the event. Both said the annual walk always helps to bring needed awareness in the community.
They also urged the community to vote for the upcoming mental health levy. They believe that it is needed for essential prevention, treatment and recovery programs for children, adolescents and adults at risk for mental illness and substance use disorders in Washington County.
“We have a raging epidemic with substance abuse disorder and a silent epidemic with mental illness in our county,” said Raney. “The money would be used for prevention, treatment and recovery programs for people who are at risk for mental illness or substance abuse like alcohol addiction and drug abuse. The levy would provide funds that would enable the Washington County Behavioral Health Board to double our efforts.”
“We have county-wide mental health, drug, opioid and substance abuse problems,” said Beardmore. “We just don’t have enough money to fight this battle the way we’d like to.”
For more information about the levy, visit the Washington County Behavioral Health Board website at WCMHL.com.