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OCU Psychology Dept. Launches New Initiative

Ohio Governor John Kasich has identified the battle with rampant heroin addiction as a priority of his administration. Ohio Christian University Psychology Department has successfully worked with the State government leaders in the past to bring Pastors together for a Drug Education Conference and now the Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives has reached out to OCU for another effort.

Kimberly Hettel, the Director of the Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, met with OCU’s Psychology Department Chair, Dr. Larry Olson, and the Director of OCU’s Substance Abuse Counseling program, Dr. Jim Smith, to seek a partnership in reaching parents through the “Start Talking” Initiative. This is designed to encourage parents to talk with their children about drugs.

As a result, an initiative has been launched in Dr. Olson’s Psychology of Leadership class in which five teams will develop plans to connect with parents through faith-based organizations to “Start Talking.” These leadership students are encouraged to think big and outside the box in developing these plans.

According to Dr. Olson, “The most exciting aspects of this project are that our students will have experience in solving real-world problems and that kids and family’s lives can be redirected and even saved through our students’ efforts.”

Students will present their plans later in March. For more information concerning the State’s initiative, go to www.starttalking.ohio.gov.