Fairbanks part of pilot treatment program for Indiana National Guard service members

Fairbanks announced a joint partnership today with the Indiana National Guard and Community Health Network to provide treatment to service members who have substance use disorders.

Called Mission: Recovery, the collaboration provides services for Indiana National Guard soldiers and airmen who are seeking help for problems with alcohol and other drugs.

“Our service members are strong. We have good, strong men and women forming the Indiana National Guard,” said Major Dr. Scott Edwards, state behavioral health officer for the Indiana National Guard. “Yet we’re not invincible. We struggle with some of the same things that (civilians) struggle with.”

Indeed, suicide remains a challenging reality for many service members, and substance abuse is a major contributor.

“When we’re tackling difficult problems like suicide, we have to look at factors like substance abuse and how we can be better at addressing it,” Edwards said. “That’s what Mission: Recovery is all about. We’re grateful for Fairbanks and Community Health Network for stepping up and developing this program that’s specifically geared toward service members.”

Clinicians at Fairbanks and Community Health Network have undergone training on military culture, including stressors common to military service.

“When service members come here, they’re meeting with a provider that understands the realities of being a member of the military,” Edwards said.

Fairbanks Chief Clinical Officer Robin Parsons, MS, LMHC, LCAC, CTRS, ADS, said the organization got a better idea of the extent of the problem when they heard about an Indiana National Guard service member who was struggling with substance use disorder having difficulty finding treatment options.

“The question was, what do we need to do as a community to make sure people who are serving us are being served as well?” Parsons said. “We want to make sure people who are treated get the full continuum of care that we know leads to more successful outcomes.”

Fairbanks is committing $120,000 annually to Mission: Recovery.

“This is the best example of bringing people and resources together to help make a difference in a crisis that continues to challenge our country,” said Barb Elliott, Fairbanks president and CEO.