Interagency Council updated on Refuge, Bradford Health

By COLBY DENTON

Posted 3/1/18

A recent gathering of the Bradley County Interagency Council discussed both addiction treatment through Bradford Health Services and job searching through The Refuge.

The Refuge is a …

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Interagency Council updated on Refuge, Bradford Health

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A recent gathering of the Bradley County Interagency Council discussed both addiction treatment through Bradford Health Services and job searching through The Refuge.

The Refuge is a Human/Social Services agency that provides assistance with job searching, education, adult literacy and identification of any and all resources.

Kelli Kyle, chief operating officer of The Refuge, spoke on the importance of job searching and interview knowledge for communities.

“One of the things that we’ve added this year is called ‘employment connection,’ which is basically us running people through the essentials of an interview,” Kyle said. “This way they learn interview skills, the ABCs of success, online job searching and they also create a résumé.”

Those who take this course are also able to apply for jobs immediately following completion of their résumé. Kyle states that employment connection is offered two to three times per month. The Refuge also has a budget-coaching program that seeks to help others get out of debt or improve their credit. The entire program requires users to complete specific action steps before returning and continuing the program, in order to display progression.

“We also have a job fair coming up on April 19,” Kyle added. “The companies that are hiring typically hire locally, so that way they can keep business within our town.”

Refuge Director of Human Services Brian Stewart also praised the effectiveness of the company’s employment connection as being incredibly quick to deliver job results.

“This is great for people who need a job really quick, regardless of the financial situation, and it can really be helpful for those who don’t know a lot about electronics, since we can walk these people through the process of submitting a résumé electronically if they don’t know how to do it,” Stewart said.

Stewart attributes the increase in job searches to the rising economy.

Addiction was also a hot topic, as Scott Berry, a community representative for Bradford Health Services spoke on how the organization is making an impact on addiction in the area.

“We’ve been in business for about 40 years and take all insurances,” Berry said. “A study a few years ago stated that anyone 12 years and up is vulnerable to substance abuse, and about 10-15 percent abuse substances. Sadly, only about 10-15 percent of that percentage will seek help, which is way too few.”

Bradford Health Services’ mission is to bring hope to patients and their families and lead them on a path of recovery. Some of the treatment options include (but are not limited to) adult treatment, detox-stabilization, residential treatment, partial hospitalization and family support groups.

“We know that some people are embarrassed that they need help, or they may not even know they need help,” Berry added.

Berry states that many people still live their lives normally, but are prisoners to their own addiction. According to Berry, if Bradley County has a population around 100,000, then about 10,000 people have substance abuse issues and need help; unfortunately, only about 1,000 of that number are seeking it.

Bradford Health Services attempts to partner with as many organizations as possible, such as Tennova, to provide the most all-encompassing treatment for its patients.

While many occupations such as police officers, firefighters or EMS personnel tend to hide any sort of substance abuse issues, as many people do, Bradford offers a program that allows treatment and recovery alongside fellow policemen, firefighters or EMS workers, in order to make them feel more comfortable and willing to submit to treatment.

“If these folks stay in our programs for more than 30 days, there is nearly a 90 percent chance that they will recover,” Berry said. “However, those numbers flip if the person drops out of the program before 30 days, and their chances of relapsing increase exponentially.”

According to Berry, lives have been restored, families reunited and employees have been able to return to work as effective team members through Bradford’s programs.

The Bradley County Interagency Council meets once per month at the Bradley County Health Department.

The Refuge can be reached Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 423-584-4211, and Bradford Health Services can be reached 24 hours per day at 423-892-2639.

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