Citizens Helping Addicts and Alcoholics Get Treatment (CHATT) made an announcement Tuesday which will change the landscape around substance abuse treatment, yet again.
In a Facebook post, which has since disappeared as well as the Facebook Group for CHAAT, the announcement read in part as follows:
“It is with sincere disappointment, yet understanding, that Citizens Helping Addicts and Alcoholics get Treatment announces the resignation of president, Dr. Paul Hergott, from the CHAAT board of directors,” said the post.
It continues with praise of Hergott, stating he was a tireless and dedicated leader who wanted change in the community.
They quoted the doctor in the post, he provided some of his reasons for leaving.
“I am announcing that I am stepping down as President of CHAAT effective immediately. I still feel as strongly about the needs and deficiencies that exist in our community related to the treatment of addiction as I did a year ago,” said Hergott. “The providers on the ground are doing the best they can with what resources they have. Agencies and providers remain grossly underfunded for what the needs of the community are.”
Donna DeSimon, founder of Addictions and Mental Health Advocates, an organization dedicated to bringing change on the ground sent SaultOnline this statement upon learning of the resignation.
“Of course I am sad and disappointed that Dr Hergott has decided to leave CHAAT, but I can see his point,” said DeSimon. “I find it very frustrating to see our vulnerable suffering while our municipal government panics over securing funding for a plaza. Are they blind? Or do they just wish not to see. Wake up, city of SSM…we are losing a generation. We are in a dire situation. The addiction and overdose rates in SSM are staggering.”
We reached out to CHATT media representative, Robert Peace, for comment as to why the Facebook Page has disappeared for the group.
“I have temporarily deactivated it Until the board meets tomorrow night,” said Peace. “There are some board Members with different ideas on direction. Paul And I are not among them. We will await the outcome of their meeting.”
In the end, Hergott says he was hoping to create a “communal response” by getting multiple voices together from the community. This approach has worked in both Sudbury and Timmins.
Stay with SaultOnline/ONNtv as we continue to follow this developing story.