Bill Showman (LICDC, OCPS), the manager of prevention and evaluation of the Paint Valley ADAMH Board, recently received the Ohio Certified Prevention Specialist certification.
The Paint Valley ADAMH (Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services) Board serves the residents of Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties in southern Ohio. Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health in Washington Court House is a contract agency of the board.
To gain the certification, Showman explained he had to complete all of the education and field experience hours required and pass the Prevention Exam required by the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board.
“I was able to achieve this certification through the support of both my employer, the Paint Valley ADAMH Board and the supervision of staff at the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services,” explained Showman via email. “Often times we use ‘license’ and ‘certification’ interchangeably, but certified is the correct term as there is currently not a licensure available for prevention specialists—only a certification. If someone is certified you know that they have spent the time to learn all aspects of prevention (…) and can apply it in the community and demonstrate your knowledge by passing the exam.”
According to Showman, being certified can assist with credibility.
“Having this certification provides folks like me more credibility and experience when working with schools and community agencies to work on prevention initiatives that are evidence-based and will surely help us to protect youth at an earlier age and assist them with making better decisions later in life that have demonstrated well documented outcomes of less mental health and substance use disorder issues. There is an old saying that, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of treatment in the future.’ I believe this to be true and believe that it is important to utilize evidence-based prevention practices that have been well researched and proven effective vs. one-and-done speakers and scare tactics, which we should all shy away from as they are not evidence-based and there are far more effective community prevention strategies available to us to reach remarkable outcomes.”
He further explained, “the importance in getting more prevention practitioners certified is it increases the power of advocacy for the profession and our communities while expanding our ability to obtain more state and federal grants. State and Federal grant dollars cannot be provided to projects that are not working toward getting their staff certified, at least at the entry level. It also ensures that new prevention practitioners have exposure to qualified supervisors in the field.”
When asked how it feels to receive the certificate, Showman explained, “it is a good feeling to know that the evidence-based planning and other work we are doing in the community gains more credibility as I am added to the (very) small group of folks that have been deemed certified locally, and it is nice to be recognized for the effort put into obtaining the certification. A good deal of time goes into preparation and learning, then you have to compile everything together and apply for and pass the exam—I have been working toward this for over two years.”
The Paint Valley ADAMH Board ensures that individuals and families affected by mental illness and/or addiction have access to high-quality recovery oriented system of care. Through strong community partnerships, the Paint Valley ADAMH Board will continue to lead and advance efforts to ensure our communities are healthy, safe and drug-free while assuring accountability and effectiveness in care.
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.