Delaware is “Going Purple” in a statewide effort to reduce stigma, raise awareness and reduce the number of Delawareans suffering with addiction.

So far in 2019, Delaware has lost 175 people to overdose deaths. Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long is the honorary chair of Delaware Goes Purple and an advocate and supporter of behavioral health care access and substance abuse prevention in the state.

Delaware Goes Purple is a statewide initiative led by the Georgetown-based Sussex County Health Coalition. In 2018, SCHC led efforts in Sussex County to begin to reduce the stigma of addictions, inspired by The Herren Project and the Talbot County “Go Purple” campaign. The initiative quickly expanded and now encompasses groups working in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties, each a part of the Delaware Goes Purple campaign.

The Herren Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established by professional basketball player Chris Herren, with the goal of helping others navigate the road to recovery from the disease of addiction. The Herren Project has helped thousands of individuals and their families from anywhere within the U.S. with treatment navigation and family support services as well as brought awareness to substance use prevention. In 2018, through the support of its funders, the SCHC hosted Herren at a free community event. Herren will return for a free community event Oct. 9 in Dover.

Delaware Goes Purple officially launches in September. Hall-Long, along with the Delaware Goes Purple Teams encourage the community in all three counties to “Go Purple” by displaying purple where they live, work and play.

For more, visit delawaregoespurple.org or facebook/delawaregoespurple.