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Recognizing those people who go unseen

In Montana the overdose statics 143 overdose deaths per year,1.43% of all deaths are from drug overdose. Overdose deaths have increased at an annual rate of 9.94%. The state overdose death rate is 14.1 deaths out of every 100,000 residents. This is 31.88% lower than the national average overdose death rate.0.20% of nationwide deaths occur in Montana (https://www.cdc.gov/).

August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day, the 2023 theme is Recognizing those people who go unseen. We would like to say to these people: #weseeyou. Theirs are the voices we should amplify, and their strength and experience should be held up as examples to us all. Too often, however, they are left to bear the burden of this crisis alone and in silence.

This year on August 31, let’s acknowledge and support the people in our communities who go unrecognized by raising awareness of the hidden impacts of overdose, promoting education of overdose response, and Plentywood town square will be a place to remember those who were lost to overdose. A place where family and friends can bring awareness to the pain of losing a loved one by tying a purple ribbon on a memory tree.

On August 21, 2023 at 6 pm a tree lighting ceremony will be held at the town square. The lighting ceremony is a public event, and all are welcome to attend. This ceremony will be to remember those loved ones lost to overdose or suicide.

September 10, 2023, is World Suicide Prevention Day; yellow ribbons will also be available for those that want to remember the loved ones lost to suicide.

The Sheridan County Behavioral Health Coalition Tree of Memories event will run from August 1 to September 30th.

The Sheridan County Behavioral Health Coalition is working to open discussions on a topic that is difficult at best. The coalition’s goal is to promote individual, family, and community behavioral health awareness and wellness. The coalition does not provide direct services, but rather they provide education and connections.

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