Sheriff’s office addresses mental health


By Sam Wildow

[email protected]

TROY — On Thursday, Dr. Joel Robertson of Robertson Health gave a presentation during the Board of Miami County Commissioners meeting on his work with the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.

Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak said he plans on having every deputy and corrections officer go through this program with Robertson.

“They see a lot of trauma, a lot of terrible events, high stress,” Duchak said. “He has a very unique and individualized way of helping first responders deal with stress.”

He said about half of his department has gone through the program, adding that he’s heard “nothing but positive feedback.”

Robertson’s specialty area is neuropharmacology, but he has completed training areas focused on psychiatry and cardiovascular pharmacology, as well as studied chemical dependency and family system therapies.

During Thursday’s meeting, Robertson discussed brain health optimization, as well as some of his findings in regard to law enforcement. He said that while Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputies are as stressed as all policing personnel, they are not showing evidence of performance issues that may have a negative impact on the community and people they serve. Robertson said this was due to deputies and corrections officers placing a high level of expectation and delivery of their jobs, but the impact of these expectations and job stress are impacting their personal relationships and health.

“You got to take your stress somewhere,” Robertson said.

Robertson recommended adding specific programming to identify unique needs of deputies and corrections officers, including programming that addresses issues with anxiety, sleep, relationships, and communication.

Also on Thursday, Thom Grim of TCN Behavioral Health Services presented to the commissioners a project they hope to do to provide transitional, short-term recovery housing, asking the commissioners to consider offering funding from the funds the county will receive from the statewide opioid settlement and/or from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Grim, former executive director of Miami County Recovery Council (MCRC), discussed how MCRC partnered with TCN earlier this year. TCN is continuing to operate under the MCRC name in Miami County, and they are considering purchasing the Heather Green North Apartments on North Market Street in Troy. Grim said they have been in discussions with the owner of the property, and the cost would be approximately $1.6 million.

The vision for the project is that two, 12-unit buildings would be used for recovery housing, with possible plans to move MCRC’s Hope House to those apartments so those going through detox will be closer to doctors for their withdrawal management. The current location of the Hope House would then be used for more recovery housing.

Grim said a number of their clients end up couch-surfing during their recovery, saying, “That’s not conducive to their recovery.”

Grim said local agencies and organizations, like the Miami County Drug Free Coalition, have made strides in addressing substance abuse, but one of the areas that needs to be addressed is transitional housing so people do not have to return to the same environment where they were previously abusing drugs.

“We still have fallen very short in being able to provide housing options for people, because if somebody’s coming from a drug-using culture and they come and they get clean and they go through the Hope House and they go through our program … then they go back into the same environment. The relapse rate is unbelievable,” Grim said. “Places are having a lot of success if you can bring programming to people and provide some housing that allows them to stabilize longer. Every behavioral study says, ‘The longer you can provided services to people, the better the chances of a positive outcome.’”

He said their plan, if they are able purchase the apartment buildings, is to give the current tenants as much time as they need to find other housing.

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