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Governor DeWine, Ohio Mental Health Agencies Launch New "Strive for Five" Challenge

Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), Governor Mike DeWine, Recovery Ohio, and local behavioral health partners to launch “Strive for 5” -- a new, statewide awareness campaign to help individuals and families cope with feelings of stress, anxiety, and isolation by connecting with others.

The campaign encourages all Ohioans to reach out, connect and comfort each other while we all work our way through the COVID-19 crisis and physical distancing. The challenge is simple: individuals find five people in their life who they will check-in with via phone, email, chat, video, etc., during each of the next 30-days.

“We encourage Ohioans to connect with people who may be isolated, lonely or live alone, and to reach out to neighbors, friends, families and co-workers,” Governor DeWine said. “First responders, healthcare workers and other individuals who are courageously keeping our essential services open also need support now, as do caregivers who are hard at work taking care of others.”

“The people we serve, in recovery from mental health or substance use related conditions, especially understand the great and unique power of personal peer to peer support and connection to others at times of crisis to allay the anxiety and fears we all face at this time,” added OhioMHAS Director Lori Criss. “Ohioans may not be able to touch each other physically, but we can certainly touch each other through these other forms of connection.”

The Strive for 5 Challenge was developed by the New York Coalition for Behavioral Health and brought to Ohio by the Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services Board of Lorain County.

The challenge is simple: find five people to check-in with every day for the next 30-days. Reach out and comfort each other while we work our way through the COVID-19 crisis.

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