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MWCC Students Hosting Opioid Addiction Awareness Panel

A panel organized by psychology students at Mount Wachusett Community College will discuss opioid addiction on Tuesday, May 1.

The discussion will take place at 12:30 p.m. in the North Cafe and is open to the public. It will cover treatment centers, legislation and other state-level developments in Massachusetts and personal journeys of recovery. Panelists will include former State Senator Jennifer Flanagan; CEO of Recovery Centers of America Michael Stuart; and Robert Fairbanks, a person in recovery.

Professor Sheila Murphy’s Abnormal Psychology class organized the panel. Each year the class participates in a service-learning project, said Murphy. The semester-long theme of reducing the stigma associated with addiction and other mental illnesses will continue with this panel.

“The goal of this panel and the entire project is to show individuals that they can make a difference and that they can help reduce stigma through awareness, education and advocacy,” said Murphy. “We want to change the perception of mental illness and that can only be accomplished through having discussions about mental health and learning about how each of us can make a difference.”

There will be a question and answer period at the end of the panel discussion. There will be brochures and information on addiction, mental illness and reducing stigma available at the event. Many of the brochures and handouts available have been researched and created by the students, said Murphy.