Mayor Craig represents Manchester at National Mayors’ Institute on Opioids

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Mayor Joyce Craig, left, was joined by Tim Soucy, Manchester Public Health Director, Jenny O’Higgins, Continuum of Care Facilitator at Makin’ It Happen, Chief Dan Goonan, Manchester Fire Department, and David Mara, Governor’s Advisor on Addiction and Behavioral Health.

BOSTON, MA — Mayor Joyce Craig represented the City of Manchester at the Mayors’ Institute on Opioids hosted by the National League of Cities (NLC), leading a five-member delegation representing both city and state efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.

“The lessons learned from this institute will help guide our city forward as we work to combat the opioid epidemic. Leveraging existing resources, identifying sustainable funding efforts and utilizing data, will enable our city to deliver the best possible care to those who need it,” Craig said

The Mayors’ Institute on Opioids, provided an opportunity for local leaders to engage in practical, solutions-oriented discussions and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. The immersive three-day event will be followed by 12 months of ongoing expert assistance tailored to each participating city’s needs, with the work building on local efforts already underway.

Participating mayors brought teams that included county and state officials. Mayor Craig was joined at the Institute by David Mara, Governor’s Advisor on Addiction and Behavioral Health, Chief Dan Goonan, Manchester Fire Department, Tim Soucy, Manchester Public Health Director and Jenny O’Higgins, Continuum of Care Facilitator at Makin’ It Happen.

The five other cities participating in the Mayors’ Institute included Huntington, WV; Knoxville, TN; Madison, WI; New Bedford, Mass.; and Tacoma, WA.

At the intensive three-day meeting, the group looked closely at their respective strengths and weaknesses and discussed key areas ranging from prevention, treatment and recovery to effective harm reduction efforts.

“Our country has struggled with how to respond to major substance abuse and mental health issues in the recent past, but we have an opportunity to learn from mistakes, and ultimately prevent and treat individuals suffering from addiction,” said NLC President and CEO Clarence E. Anthony. “We must continue to understand what’s working, what’s not and build stronger paths forward. Our only chance at confronting and overcoming the opioid epidemic is to work together.”

Going forward, NLC will share best practices from the Mayors’ Institute, as well as additional lessons learned from the cities during the year of technical assistance that follows. The goal over the coming months is to create a ripple effect and provide information and insights that help every city leader who is grappling with this crisis.

For more information on NLC’s longstanding work on the opioid crisis, including recommendations from our Opioid Task Force, click here.