With staff shortages and shutdowns, it’s taken time to rebuild a rural recovery center in North Dakota. Back in May, KX News reported on how the old Prairie Learning Center building became a recovery resource in rural Grant County.
Since then, things have changed and the pandemic has lingered. Now more than ever addressing mental health and recovery from substance abuse is vital.
Since the pandemic hit, people have been desperate for a place to get help.
“We’re getting some reports back that are really good about people maintaining recovery and we’re excited about what we’re doing,” says Brenda Owen.
Owen is the executive director of Summit Prairie Recovery Center in Raleigh, North Dakota.
She also directs Summit Counseling Services. Those two groups focus on mental health services across the state — and especially in rural communities.
Brenda says, “We’re trying to meet the needs in the niches in western North Dakota in particular but we’re serving all of North Dakota and some South Dakota and we’ve got some calls from out of state as well.”
So they created kiosks, or laptop locations at places like jails, social services, and other agencies to help people get plugged into telehealth services through zoom — reaching those communities that are very underserved.
Brenda says, “The addiction illness is progressing and with the lockdown, the boredom. However, drugs are still flowing. In particular, the alcoholism. People are devastated. They’re lonely, they’re suicidal.”
Since funds ran dry for the substance use disorder treatment program in August this year — Owen says lives are at stake. That’s why these extra kiosk locations are necessary as well as other recovery resources.
“We have one in New Town. We’re in the process of setting one up in Hettinger and potentially in Standing Rock. We have one in Williston. and we’ve got one in Watford City. We set up a laptop. It’s something that we can do almost anywhere,” says Owen.
No matter where you are, you’re never too far from help.
Brenda explains, “We’re getting those reports back and we’re making a difference and that’s awesome. That’s what we’re here for.”
So if you’re wondering what these kiosks are, Brenda says it’s simple — It’s a laptop at a jail, social services, or CPS location in rural North Dakota. You walk in and someone will help you fill out your information on this laptop to get you the help you need.
For more information on these kiosks or Summit Prairie Recovery Center go here.