Mental health awareness event planned

GREENFIELD — Hospital officials are teaming up with a local church to educate the public about addiction, mental health and the opioid crisis.

“Rise Above It,” an evening with food, speakers and fellowship, aims to help county residents learn to cope with life’s challenges and stress and help them feel more comfortable discussing their mental health, said Stacey Butterfield, director of adult ministry at Park Chapel Christian Church in Greenfield.

The event is planned for 5:15 to 8 p.m. Nov. 14 at Park Chapel, 1176 E. McKenzie Road, with the doors opening at 5:15 p.m., and food service continuing until speakers begin at 6 p.m.

Keynote speaker Josh Bleill, a Greenfield-Central High School graduate and U.S. veteran, will talk about his time in the service.

In 2006, when serving as a U.S. Marine in Iraq, Bleill lost both of his legs in an explosion. Upon returning to the U.S., he found solace by sharing his story.

Today, he works as the community spokesman for the Indianapolis Colts, where he travels around the country, delivering more than 300 speeches a year and encouraging audiences to confront their challenges.

In his free time, Josh volunteers with the Semper Fi Fund, providing financial and emotional support to wounded members of the military.

Other speakers include Greenfield Mayor Chuck Fewell, Indiana Sen. Mike Crider, a local family recovering from a loss of a family member after a battle with depression and a member of the Landing Place, 18 W. South St., an organization that pairs worship with a recovery program for the troubles teens face, including addiction, anger, depression and anxiety and family problems.

The dinner serves as the inaugural “Rise Above It” event, but organizers hope the educational program will continue in future years. Butterfield, a member of Hancock Regional Hospital’s system of care governance board, which brings together leaders of nonprofits, churches and other organizations working to help young people in the community, said she sees a lack of awareness of mental health issues in the community.

She thought organizing an educational event revolving around mental health would be a good way for her church to serve the county, she said. The organizers hope by presenting speakers who frankly discuss their struggles and challenges, county residents will better be able to spot signs of mental distress in themselves and others and be encouraged to get help.

A steering committee of six people has spent several months working to plan the event, said Amanda Hinkle, the hospital’s system of care coordinator. Ty Hunt, the hospital’s chef and caterer, will cater a buffet-style meal with a vegetarian option, she said.

To RSVP, contact akirkpatrick@hancockregional.org or 317-468-4177 by Nov. 3.

If you go

“Rise Above It”

Free educational event about mental health and addiction

5:15 to 8 p.m. Nov. 14 at Park Chapel, 1176 E. McKenzie Road, Greenfield

Doors open at 5:15 p.m., and food service until speakers begin at 6 p.m.

To RSVP, contact akirkpatrick@hancockregional.org or 317-468-4177 by Nov. 3.

Author photo
Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.