Friday, July 24, 2020

Fund to Help Those in Recovery Stay Connected

For people struggling with substance use disorder, COVID-19 has created new challenges and barriers for those seeking recovery. Support meetings, coaching sessions, and many clinical treatments have moved to online or virtual formats. Not everyone in this corner of the state has access to reliable cell phone or internet service. The economic impact of the pandemic on many of the region’s business sectors has also meant that many people have lost income, making it even more difficult for them to access virtual support. Healthy Acadia has received grant funding from the Elmina B Sewall Foundation and Machias Savings Bank to help remove these technology and communications barriers for people in recovery who reside in Hancock or Washington County. “It is more important than ever that community members in recovery have reliable communications,” said Penny Guisinger Healthy Acadia’s Recovery Programs Director. “Staying connected to peers and other supports can be vital to an individual’s recovery success.” Donna Mitchell, Program Administrator for the Maine Alliance for Recovery Coaching (Maine-ARC) recalled a recent conversation with someone who has been sober for 20 years but is having a struggling without traditional support meetings. “If it is this [pandemic] hard for someone with that much 'time', it must be crushing for a person considering recovery or newly into the recovery process,” said Mitchell. Individuals in recovery can apply for funds to cover the cost of a cell phone, assistance with covering the cost of home internet, cell phone service or an upgrade to service, phone cards with minutes and data, as well as other possibilities that will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The application can be completed online at For more information about the grant, or to request a printable application, contact Beth Alteri at (207) 460-2312 or at Healthy Acadia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that engages in a broad range of initiatives to build healthier communities and make it easier for people to lead healthy lives across Washington and Hancock counties, Maine. Learn more at