Paterno Hosting Screening, Panel on Substance Abuse and Recovery

Mary Paterno, assistant professor of nursing, will facilitate a digital story screening and panel discussion on women, substance abuse and recovery on Tuesday, July 16 at 6 p.m. The event, “Stories of strength, encouragement and hope: Local women’s experiences with substance use disorder and recovery,” is free and open to the public. It will be held at the Greenfield Community College Dining Commons.

Nine women share the challenges, successes and hopes of their recovery journey, in their own words through digital storytelling. Each story is about three minutes in length.

After the screening, Paterno will facilitate a panel discussion with the storytellers on how digital stories can be used to promote hope and recovery for other women dealing with substance use disorder. 

The story screening is the second phase of a project by Paterno to address perinatal opioid use disorder.

Paterno’s team is one of ten nationwide winning teams in the first phase of the HRSA Maternal Child Health Bureau Grand Challenge: Addressing Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnant Women and New Moms. The winning submissions are technology-based solutions to improve access to quality health care for pregnant women and new mothers struggling with opioid use disorder. The innovations aim to reduce barriers to obtaining safe and effective care and treatment, especially for families in rural and geographically isolated settings.

Their winning proposal, “The use of digital recovery narratives in increasing hope and supporting sustained recovery for pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorder,” advanced them to phase two of the challenge and they were awarded $10,000.   

As part of the second phase of the challenge, the team held the digital storytelling workshop with women in recovery in Franklin County and will host the July 16 story screening. 

The screening is made possible by the Health Resources and Service Administration’s (HRSA) Maternal Child Health Bureau. The University of Massachusetts College of Nursing, the Salasin Project, and StoryCenter.