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Wally Overman Recognized as a Champion for Substance Abuse Prevention

Post Date:06/23/2016 10:33 a.m.
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Wally Overman, Vice Chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, received the 2016 County Commissioner Leadership Award from the NC Council of Community Programs at the Council's Policy Forum on Monday, June 20 in Raleigh. 

Overman was nominated for the award by Trillium Health Resources because of his strong passion and commitment to helping families who suffer because of mental health issues and addiction. Overman serves as Dare County's representative on Trillium's Central Regional Advisory Board and the Trillium Governing Board. 

"Trillium Health Resources is proud that the NC Council of Community Programs has recognized Dare County Commissioner and Trillium Board member Wally Overman with its 2016 Leadership Award for outstanding county commissioner," said Leza Wainwright, Trillium CEO. "Commissioner Overman's dedication to helping people meet challenges due to mental illness, addictions or intellectual and other developmental disabilities benefits citizens in Dare County and the other 23 counties served by Trillium." 

Locally, Overman was the driving force in launching the Dare County Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Task Force, which is having a positive impact on the local community. After becoming Dare County Commissioner in 2013, Overman began attending the Children's Community Collaborative meetings and was amazed to learn about the large number of local youths in need of substance abuse counseling and treatment. This led him to research prevention efforts and to recognize the need for local agencies to collaborate and figure out how to work together to connect with youth in Dare County. This was the beginning of the Dare County Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Task Force. 

According to the nomination form, "Instead of just pointing out the need or stating the problem, Wally took action and decided to do something about it. Wally worked with the Trillium System of Care Coordinator to organize and develop a task force that focuses on prevention efforts for the youth. This task force has become a functioning active group that has actually done things in the county, not just talked about doing things." 

Upon accepting the award, Overman was quick to point out that the Task Force is a team effort. "It comes as the fortunate result of working in Dare County with a number of intensely committed and dedicated individuals who share a common concern, especially for our youth, and who recognize the immediate need to reach out in a multitude of efforts to provide them with the proper choices to facilitate substance abuse prevention in their lives and the lives of others," he said. "It has been my pleasure to have contributed in some small way to these efforts, and this award is shared with all of my associates in its entirety." 

According to Overman, the Task Force is an all-inclusive, volunteer, non-official, non-political, and unfunded group. It includes organizations such as Dare CASA, Peer Power, Port Human Services, Project Purple, Dare County Health and Human Services, medical professionals, pharmacists, law enforcement, clergy and the faith community, service providers, Trillium Health Resources, Dare County Schools, various members of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, and other members of the community. 

The group meets every month except June and August. Their next meeting is Tuesday, July 19 at 3 p.m. in Room 168 of the Dare County Administration Building. Anyone with an interest in learning more or getting involved is invited to attend. For more information about the Task Force, contact Roxana Ballinger at 475.5619. 
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