Shenango Stamp Out Stigma event to focus on substance addiction, opiate abuse

SHARON, Pa. — This year’s Penn State Shenango Stamp Out Stigma (SOS) event will focus on substance addiction, specifically opiate abuse, an issue that is all too familiar nationally and in our own community. The presentation will be held from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, in the Great Hall of Sharon Hall, located on Vine Avenue in downtown Sharon. It is free and open to the public.

Penn State alumnus Jack Luchette, who organized the third annual event, graduated from the Shenango campus with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies in 2014.

“The stigma surrounding addiction discourages people from seeking treatment,” said Luchette. “In order to overcome the epidemic currently plaguing our community, it is imperative that we are understanding and supportive of those who are battling this disease.”

The presenters at this year’s SOS event include Penn State Shenango Mental Health Counselor Tony Paglia, Community Counseling Center of Mercer County Community Outreach and Development Director Fern Torok, Luchette, and special guest and founder of the Mercer County Coalition for Drug Awareness Gloria Mackaly, who will speak about the coalition’s efforts to combat addiction in Mercer County, as well as her inspiration for starting the coalition.

“I believe that Stamp Out Stigma is an essential annual program at Penn State Shenango because taking care of one’s health, both physical and emotional, is a major key to success,” said Paglia. “We want our students to be successful not only in their academics, but also in their careers and personal lives. Through this program, we hope to bring awareness to the value of maintaining positive mental health by talking to a professional.

”The past two years' events have been extremely positive and well attended. Last year’s presentation focused on mental health issues, which is also a major concern in our country. Throughout October, Penn State Shenango will be promoting wellness, both physical and mental."

For more information about this and other wellness events at Penn State Shenango, call 724-983-2969.