The Mental Health Association of Nassau County is hosting their inaugural Overdose Prevention & Awareness Walk Saturday, Oct. 8 at Jones Beach State Park Field 5.
This will be the first of many efforts from the MHANC towards ending an epidemic that has long been infiltrating communities on Long Island and across the country.
The MHANC is a not-for-profit organization rooted in advocacy that was designed to be a system of support for individuals who need equal access to care within vulnerable communities in Nassau County.
The association is dedicated to providing crucial support and services so that the light of the end of the tunnel becomes visible and brighter; and especially bringing awareness to mental health struggles and the symptoms that often come from taking these obstacles on.
“Overdose is the number one cause of accidental death in America. Let’s get to the root of the problem,” Executive Director of MHANC, Jeff McQueen, said. “Our society right now more than ever is living with trauma. We’re in a world where things are happening and people aren’t quite sure what to do to cope with it. One of the most natural means of coping is to get outside of yourself, self medicate, which lowers your inhibitions leading you to try something you wouldn’t have tried before.”
When those in our communities are looking to lessen the blow that life has dealt, especially within the past few years, we need to ensure that they find helping hands rather than substances. However, it is for this reason that McQueen has decided to launch this Walk.
“In our world of addiction, overdose is a cry for help that tends to get unheard — but it’s the biggest cry for help,” McQueen expressed. “So the key for our society is to begin to examine what these cries for help really look like and how do we as a society answer that cry for those that are still with us. That’s why we’re hosting the Walk on Saturday — for overdose prevention and awareness and being able to make sure that those who are gone are not forgotten and that their cries for help become a pathway for wellness for those who are still with us.”