EASTON — Mid Shore Behavioral Health Inc. is collaborating with dozens of community partners to host “The Mid-Shore is Going Purple Together” on Friday, Sept. 24, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Idlewild Park in Easton. This free event takes place annually on the last Friday in September with the purpose of demonstrating the Mid-Shore’s cohesion and unity against substance misuse, abuse, and overdose.
This year’s gathering will feature a ceremony to honor regional peer support specialists as well as a live DJ, kids activities, interactive exhibits and food trucks. Several local behavioral health agencies will also be in attendance to provide substance use resources and information for the community.
The Mid-Shore is Going Purple Together is open to the public and welcomes individuals seeking, or in, recovery, families and friends who have lost loved ones to overdose, or those who just want to celebrate in solidarity alongside their neighbors. MSBH and participating partners are excited to inaugurate the annual event’s first in-person gathering, as last year’s event was virtual due to pandemic restrictions.
“This is the second year that Mid Shore Behavioral Health Inc. and the five Mid-Shore counties’ Local Addictions Authorities Health Department leadership, representing the Mid-Shore Planning Collaborative, have come together to celebrate and promote recovery and wellness in our region,” said MSBH Executive Director Katie Dilley.
She continued, “The opportunity to come together as a region to honor and celebrate the significance of National Recovery Month and how our region and state have embraced the Going Purple movement is such a gift.”
Although this year’s celebration will take place in Talbot County, the plan is to move the event to each of the Mid-Shore counties in the coming years.
To aid in the prevention and recovery-oriented mission of Go Purple, the event will feature Narcan training, distribution of Deterra drug
deactivation pouches, as well as ample opportunities to learn about local resources for those struggling
with a substance use disorder, with a special highlight on the impactful recovery services offered by regional Peer Support Specialists.
“A focus of the event will be to celebrate and give thanks for the leadership of the region’s Peer Support Network who are the true heartbeat of promoting and instilling hope to those in recovery or in need of support in our community,” Dilley said. “It is so important to realize that recovery is possible, and the voices of hope and support in our mid-shore community are strong.”
Complementing this celebration of the Mid-Shore’s unique culture and unity will be a variety of entertaining activities for people of all ages. Guests can engage with an interactive Hip-Hop Time Capsule featuring music compositions and spoken word created by local youth. The Chesapeake Heartland Humanities Project will present a local African American history exhibit, while DJ Lady Praise cultivates a sense of community revelry through musical ambiance. Caroline County Family YMCA plans to lead a lively Zumba session, and Minary’s Dream Alliance brings an exclusive virtual reality experience to demonstrate new tools youth can use to help manage their mental health.
Guests are welcome to peruse the art and poetry showcase curated by individuals in recovery or take some memorable selfies at the photo booth. Attendees will also have the option of enjoying outdoor dining with some tasty food truck offerings, including Amy Cool’s Ice Cream Express and So Coast.
Go Purple started in the Mid-Shore with Talbot Goes Purple in 2016 with Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble and Tidewater Rotary, in partnership with Talbot County Public Schools, Saints Peter and Paul Schools, and Mid-Shore Community Foundation. Talbot Goes Purple is a substance use prevention
initiative that empowers our youth and the community to “Go Purple” in September, as a sign of taking a stand against
substance abuse. The movement has since spread to more than half of the counties within Maryland.
As a founder of Talbot Goes Purple, Gamble expressed his enthusiasm and support for the event, “We are excited that ‘The Mid-Shore is Going Purple Together!’ Together we can get the facts, get involved, and get talking.”
Learn more about Talbot Goes Purple at ww.talbotgoespurple.com.
Mid Shore Behavioral Health Inc. and participating agencies look forward to gathering for The Mid-Shore is Going Purple Together to memorialize those who have been lost to substance use, supporting those in recovery, and instilling hope and wellness to all mid-shore community members.
The event is sponsored in part by RALI Maryland. Participating partners include Caroline County Family YMCA, Caroline Goes Purple, Caroline County Health Department, Caroline County Safe Station, Chesapeake Heartland: An African American Humanities Project, Chesapeake Voyagers Inc., Choptank Community Health, Dorchester Goes Purple, Dorchester County Health Department, Dri-Dock Wellness and Recovery, Kent County Health Department, Kent Rotary, Kent Goes Purple, Maryland Addiction Consultation Service, Mariah’s Mission, Maryland Coalition of Families, Maryland ROTA, Mid Shore Pro Bono, Mid-Shore Restoring HOPE in Women, Minary’s Dream Alliance, Queen Anne’s County Health Department, Queen Anne’s County Goes Purple, Recovery in Motion, Santé Eastern Shore Mobile Crisis Response, Talbot County Health Department and Talbot Goes Purple.
More information on The Mid-Shore is Going Purple Together and other Go Purple events can be found at www.midshorebehavioralhealth.org/gpt.