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Free Through Recovery Program aims to improve access to recovery services

A new program will provide behavioral health services to communities across North Dakota.

Pamela Sagness is Director of the Behavioral Health Division with the North Dakota Department of Human Services. She says the Free Through Recovery Program is part of the justice reinvestment work underway by the state of North Dakota, aimed at reducing incarcerations and improving access to community based recovery services. The program was funded in the last legislative session. She says the Department of Human Services is now holding informational meetings with vendors across the state.

"Vendors will be providing two different services; one is care coordination, and the other is care and recovery support services. So things like, for example, peer support. And the key to this program is that we're really looking to address community solutions by looking at each community differently. Fargo may have different needs than Dickinson, and so the vendors have the opportunity to say, 'what are the gaps in our system relating to things like housing or employment services and supports? What are things that individuals need in order to achieve success and the outcome they're looking for in recovery?'"

Events this week will be held in Fargo and Bismarck, with more presentations to follow in more communities. Sagness says this is a great opportunity for faith based organizations and other agencies to get involved in responding to the opioid crisis.

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