Early this year, members of the Walker County Health Action Partnership – a key organization within the Bold Goals Coalition of Central Alabama — were gearing up to recognize National Recovery Month in September. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Partners had teamed up with the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama to host The Journey Day, a one-day event traditionally hosted by the Recovery Ministries in Jefferson County. Having recognized the significant impact that the opioid epidemic had on Walker County, the Recovery Ministries saw the need to bring this invaluable learning opportunity to Walker County residents. With uncertainty surrounding the safety of in-person events, partners began re-imagining The Journey Day, which would eventually become The Journey Series, a free 6-week virtual learning series on Addiction & Recovery.
Partners came to realize that the shift to a virtual learning series was a blessing in disguise because not only would The Journey Series reach Walker County residents safely, it would also allow people across the state and beyond to tune in and hear about what is happening in Walker County. The Walker County Health Action Partnership is working hard to achieve its goal of creating a comprehensive network of prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery resources related to addiction and mental health. The importance of partnership and collaboration is a lesson that translates to other local, state, regional and national audiences looking to make a change.
The spectrum of topics featured in The Journey Series represents Walker County’s diverse network of partners. Subject matter includes:
- brain science of addiction.
- the role of health professionals.
- how to ask for help.
- the state of addiction in Alabama.
- the role of law enforcement.
- youth prevention.
- guardians of addicted loved ones.
- two provider-perspective panels.
Recordings of the live sessions are available on demand at by clicking here along with presentation materials and contact information made available by speakers.
Adapting the event was a relatively easy endeavor with the collaboration and support of many partners. The Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama sponsored the event. Bradford Health Services made the transition to virtual seamless by managing the Zoom Webinar platform and ensuring the continuing-education contact hours would be available. Addiction Prevention Coalition and Jennifer Campbell Consulting created The Journey Series graphics. Walker Area Community Foundation (WACF) assigned intern Laynie Snyder to coordinate the transition to virtual and event planning during her summer internship through the Jean O’Connor-Snyder Internship Program. WACF also donated its Vimeo channel to house all session recordings.
The development of The Journey Series program and diverse expertise on addiction and recovery would not have been possible without the network of partners who remained dedicated to the series even as their daily operations presented unprecedented challenges: Addiction Prevention Coalition, Alabama Association of Christian Recovery Ministries, Bradford Health Services, Capstone Rural Health Center, Fellowship House, Hope for Women, Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging, Northwest Alabama Mental Health Center, Recovery Organization of Support Specialists (ROSS), Recovery Resource Center, The Foundry Ministries, Walker Area Community Foundation, Walker Baptist Medical Center, and Will Bright Foundation.
The Bold Goals Coalition is 200 organizations solving big community problems by aligning partners, resources and agendas.