Tennessee's communities are on the front lines of our state's addiction crisis. Communities feel the effects first, and people in those individual communities also know best how to respond to their unique challenges. That's why the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and our partner Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions and treatment providers employ community-based change agents in several programs all across the state. The programs include:
CARE Teams: Partner with law enforcement to interface with individuals and families after an overdose
Faith-Based Community Coordinators: Interface with the faith community to empower congregations to impact addiction in their communities
Lifeline Peer Project: Work with communities and faith-based groups to increase recovery supports and connect people with treatment resources
Regional Overdose Prevention Specialists: Train community members on opioid overdose reversal and distribute naloxone to priority populations
Tennessee Recovery Navigators: Interact with people receiving treatment in priority emergency departments after an overdose
In June 2019, the department brought together these unique groups together for a training event called One Team | One Vision. The name was intended to celebrate that, despite various programs having unique missions, the vision for each was the same: to improve the lives of Tennesseans affected by substance use disorder. Many of the people employed by these programs have personally lived through addiction and are now living lives of recovery. No matter how they came to the role they serve now, each person brings a devotion to the cause of changing lives and improving communities.
The department set out to document the voices, experiences, and stories of the men and women who passionately pursue this vision in communities across this state. The result of this work is the 21 video profiles below. Our goal is that you leave inspired to make change in your own community and excited about the work being done by Tennessee's community-based change agents.
Meet the Team