OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- Those struggling with substance abuse in the Fox Valley can now find local resources all in one place.
Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago counties joined together to launch the regional We Heart You app Wednesday.
Those who download the app will be able to find help through local treatment resources, including support meetings, access to Narcan and harm reduction tools, access to food, housing, employment and county services, mental and behavioral health screeners and can live chat with a recovery support specialist.
The idea for the app came from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh police officer Chris Tarmann.
In 2018, when UW-Oshkosh officers made contact with someone, they handed them a 211 referral card.
“The idea was that I would have these in my pocket, other people would have these in their pocket and if we had contact with somebody that we knew there was something going on that I may even have to make an arrest for, that doesn’t mean that I can’t tell them that I still care about them, right?" Tarmann said.
So he would pass the card off with the hopes that maybe the individual would read it and seek help if they needed it.
"Maybe they’d find it someday and go, ‘wow, that police officer actually cared about me even though they had to make a difficult decision that changed the trajectory of my life,'" Tarmann said.
When thinking how he could make the card better, Tarmann got the idea to make it digital.
“It’s so easy to tap on some buttons and connect with some information and I think at the end of the day, it’s going to save some lives," he said.
The We Heart You app is available to download for Apple and Android users.