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Behavioral Health News

Posted on: December 21, 2023

Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition selected as pilot site for Anti-Stigma Initiative

Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition and Kenosha County Behavioral Health Services logos

The Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition has been selected as a pilot site for the nationwide Anti-Stigma Initiative launched by the Addiction Policy Forum, the coalition announced today. 

The Addiction Policy Forum Anti-Stigma Initiative includes over 100 pilot sites nationwide working to reduce addiction stigma — including stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination intent — and to increase knowledge about addiction. 

“This opportunity showcases our organization’s dedication to improving our response to individuals with a substance use disorder and actively combating the harmful stigma associated with addiction,” said Kari Foss, director of the Kenosha County Division of Aging, Disability and Behavioral Health Services and co-chair of the Substance Abuse Coalition.

As a pilot site, Foss said the Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition will be at the forefront of this groundbreaking initiative, actively contributing to testing and evaluation of new stigma interventions and new tools to measure levels of stigma in the community.

Foss said Stigma is a factor of treatment outcomes because individuals hide their conditions, with feelings of shame leading to avoidance of treatment or inadequate care.

“In Wisconsin, our culture has normalized substance abuse and misuse,” Foss said. “It’s time for us to start normalizing, asking for help, supporting those in recovery, and having conversations around prevention. We all play a part in keeping Kenosha County and all who live here healthy and safe.”

More information about the Anti-Stigma Initiative is available at

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