Upcoming mental health and substance misuse event to feature former BMX bike champion

Published 11:37 am Monday, March 13, 2023

COLUMBUS–Polk County Health and Human Services Agency recently announced an upcoming mental health and substance misuse event, focused on raising awareness and promoting education. 


The event, #standbymePolk, will take place on April 28 at Polk County High School and will feature BMX Elite Athlete, Tony Hoffman.

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Hoffman is the most requested mental health and substance misuse speaker in the country. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with a Transitions to Adulthood Fair hosted by Polk County Schools Exceptional Children’s Department and Polk County HHSA Innovative Approaches. The keynote speech will begin at 6 p.m.


The event will include vendor exhibits and training, providing attendees with the opportunity to learn from leading experts and connect with resources in their community. Hoffman will be delivering a keynote address on his journey from addiction and homelessness to the Rio Olympics. He will be sharing his personal experiences and insights on the importance of mental health and the challenges that people face in accessing the care they need.


“We are thrilled to have Tony Hoffman join us for this important event,” said Aaron Greene, Superintendent of Polk County Schools. “Their unique perspective and expertise will provide valuable insights for attendees and help to raise awareness about substance misuse and the importance of mental health.”


The event is free and open to the public and is designed for community members and organizations. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about resources available in the community. Giveaways will include a Yeti Cooler and a 50-inch TV.


“Mental health and substance misuse is a crucial issue that affects all of us,” said Joshua Kennedy, Polk County HHSA Director. “We are committed to working with community members and partners to grow our resources and support  networks so we can improve the health and well-being of our community.”


For more information about the event, please visit https://standbymepolk.my.canva.site/


Submitted by Dana Pfister