By Ashley González
ODMH Public Information Officer
Some people might wonder why ODADAS and ODMH participate in the Ohio State Fair. What do ferris wheels, corndogs, and addiction and mental health services have in common? Don’t most people visit the fair to have a good time and forget about the serious issues?
Each year the fair draws hundreds of thousands of people (more than 830,000 attended last year!) from throughout the state, as well as neighboring states -- some of whom may need help for an addiction or mental health issue they or a loved one are facing. Having a presence at the fair is one of the best means of reaching a large, diverse audience. Many who stop by the booth are seeking information for a family member who is in need of services and they don’t know where to turn. Many are teachers who are looking to distribute prevention-related information in their classrooms. Some are professionals who work every day with clients facing addiction and mental health issues. Others are in recovery and stop by to share their stories.