Mahoning County Mental Health Seeks Loss/Doss Volunteers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board is seeking volunteers to donate their time to support suicide or drug overdose survivors.

The board’s newly formed Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors and Drug Overdose Survivor Support teams, or Loss and Doss, respectively, include trained first responders, mental health professionals, members of the religious community and other survivors of trauma, according to a press release. Volunteers connect survivors with needed resources and provide emotional support and hope.

“Our trained volunteers are what drives the success of this organization,” Program Coordinator Lee DeVita said in the release. “Their passion and willingness gives others the strength and hope to keep moving forward through the darkest times.”

The Loss and Doss teams are looking for community volunteers to act as responders at a scene to support survivors and stay with them long after, according to the release. In addition to providing resources, volunteers may write cards and make check-in phone calls to support survivors.

“Having someone there, who has experienced this first-hand or is trained in dealing with this acting as a responder can mean a world of difference,” said Executive Director Duane Piccirilli. “The volunteers help bring hope to those experiencing the ultimate loss and continue to support them and think about them for as long as necessary.”

For volunteers, the opportunity provides them a chance to help others while finding an outlet for their own grief.

“It’s important that our volunteers are dedicated to what they do,” said Brenda Heidinger, associate director. “For many of them, providing the level of support that they do is just as important to them as it is for those receiving it.”

Those interested in volunteering can fill this APPLICATION FORM and return it to DeVita at For more information, contact DeVita at 330 746 2959 ext. 7975.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.