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4 weeks ago

James' Place Inc.

What a great experience!

Yesterday Tom and I were guests at the Loudoun County Detention Center in Leesburg,VA. Invited out to be part of a day of training for deputies and clinical staff, we learned as we shared.

LCDC has a relatively new therapeutic community for those with substance use disorder and/or mental health issues. What an awesome program they are continuing to build! Too often those behind the walls don't get support like this.

Our focus was two fold: speak to the impact of SUD/MH on families especially when death occurs and educate on what is happening in the world of system change for treatment, law enforcement and criminal justice.

Most of the deputies are male, not all. The clinicians are female - so talented! Our position is to always come in prepared to learn as well as to educate. In the end, we all agreed this did happen. We've been invited back to speak to their CIT training programs.

My favorite moment? I asked if what we were sharing was of interest, was valuable. After a quiet pause, one deputy said that he was overwhelmed. That his long time in law enforcement had prepared him in one direction and now he was perplexed by new information. I consider that a positive reaction.

Many remained at the end of our session sharing stories, asking questions - every attendee took wristbands "No Shame or Blame ~ Just Love".

Sharing our stories and truths matter - collaboration is the only way through this epidemic.
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