Philip Atkins - A Personal Tribute
It is a rare occurrence to come to work everyday where you share responsibility and creativity with a person you respect, admire and genuinely like. For the past 10 years this has been my work experience.
Together Philip and I decided that the most important thing to accomplish was that anyone who needed help could find it and access it easily. Philip expanded our presence through social media, facebook, and a host of outreach and awareness activities thorughout our communities. We knew that the only option for people couldn't be just treatment, we needed a wider array of opportunties for people to get help. Philip began to train support group facilitators of which over 130 have been trained so far. Getting to talk to someone about a problem easily, and early was paramount and so Philip introduced our providers to Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral, and Treatment (SBIRT). Thousands of people take advantage of this opportunity to walk in to talk to a professional every year. And everyone finds the help they need. But we knew that we needed to start even earlier to create a resilient wellness in our young people and so Philip introduced the PAX Good Behavior Game to our communities with the goal that every teacher in every classroom will be trained. We now also have expanded the number of credentialed prevention professionals and fully accredited prevention agencies in our communities. Philip has helped hundreds of people who call the Board Office each year looking for help for themeselves or a loved one in need. Even though Philip is leaving our area his legacy will live on and his work in Columbus with Ohio MHAS is really an extension of the work he began here in our communities. Congratulations Philip and all the best in your next mission!