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Mental health board rolling out new drug-free policy help


August 23. 2013 9:46AM
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LIMA A new business and community partnership is bearing its first fruit, aimed at addressing the increasing number of potential workers failing drug screens and losing out on employment opportunities, and creating drug-free workplaces.


The Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties will hold an executive briefing on the new We Care At Work program. The briefing will be held Aug. 21 at The City Club, 144 S. Main St. Those attending must register by Aug. 16 by going to www.wecarepeople.org or calling 419-549-8530. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Aug. 21 and the program will run from 8 to 9:30 a.m.


The program will give training to businesses, help them develop a drug free workplace, and find and retain valuable employees. This initiative was created and funded by the Mental Health & Recovery Services board and is facilitated by Working Partners and Coleman Behavioral Health. It is endorsed by the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce and the Allen County Economic Development Group.


Working Partners is a company that creates drug-free workplace programs and policies for companies. Coleman is the provider the mental health board contracts with to provide many of the mental health services in the region.


The program is developing out of a partnership among Allen Economic Development Group, Mental Health and Recovery Services of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties and some temporary staffing companies. They have teamed up to move from a zero-tolerance policy to one that allows for education and a second chance.


The old school of thought, and for many current policies, is to completely reject applicants who fail drug tests before employment. However, the issue is a problem nationally and locally. Companies are having trouble finding employees who can pass an initial drug test, and people who would otherwise make quality employees are losing employment chances.


Many companies have second-chance policies, assistance programs and counseling available for people already employed. The local group is trying to apply that logic to potential employees.




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