Worthington HOPE Forum seeks to stem the tide of fatal opioid overdoses in rural Minnesota
Attendees will be able to sit in on presentations and receive overdose response training on Thursday, at the Worthington Event Center.
WORTHINGTON — A traveling community resource event focused on addressing opioid overdoses in Greater Minnesota will be at the Worthington Event Center on Thursday.
The event, called the HOPE Forum, is free to the public and presented by the Steve Rummler Hope Network and local partners. It will include an overdose response training where attendees can receive a naloxone kit, educational sessions, a community resource fair, and networking opportunities.
“The forum is a part of a larger initiative of making sure that we're getting overdose prevention and awareness information to some of our most rural districts,” said Alicia House, executive director of the Steve Rummler HOPE Network. “The goal is to get the community together.”
Worthington marks the third stop for the HOPE Forum, as the resource event travels to rural districts in the state. Already, the forum has visited Moorhead and Winona, with additional visits to Bemidji, Virginia and Brainerd planned.
The HOPE Forum focuses on education, harm reduction, pain management and prevention in Greater Minnesota, due to the unique barriers in rural areas when it comes to addressing the overdose crisis — such as being underserved by treatment providers and lack of accessibility to overdose prevention tools.
“Our three programs that we really stand on are not just overdose prevention, but also advocacy and education,” said House. “It’s important that people have knowledge in order to understand this crisis and what they can do about it.”
As part of the educational sessions, presentations will be given on topics like understanding the stigma around substance use and reducing harm in families impacted by opioid use.
While the forum is open to individuals looking to learn more about the opioid epidemic, House also encourages local area providers, clinicians and healthcare team members to attend.
Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. at the Worthington Event Center, with the first session starting at 9 a.m. The forum will go until 3:30 p.m., with a lunch at noon.
All are welcome to attend, and can register online at https://forms.gle/W6n8RhMHjkSsaMSA6 .