Opioid Forum Representative Paul Brodeur hosted a Community Forum on the Opioid Epidemic & current strategies from the state legislature to address prevention, treatment, & recovery.
Recovery Coach Services available in Wakefield through a partnership with Wakefield Police Department & Health Department and Eliot Community Services. The primary goal of the Recovery Coach is to improve access to substance use disorder services for Wakefield residents by addressing the existing gap between those individuals struggling with substance use disorder and lack of access to a qualified recovery coach. The Coach will help individuals navigate the care system, build a relationship with each individual referred to the program, and help to support their behavior changes in their journey toward recovery. Clients identify their own goals for treatment and the coach helps support them to meet those goals.
National Conference Presentation Regional Tobacco Control Coordinator Maureen Buzby, Wake- Up Director Catherine Dhingra, Wake-Up Youth Leader Bill Stevens and a virtual Senator Jason Lewis lead a well-attended break out session at the CADCA Conference in Washington, D.C. The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) builds and strengthens the capacity of community coalitions to create safe, healthy and drug-free communities. The conference drew over 3,000 US and international participants. The title of their workshop was “Juuling in the bathroom to Tobacco 21! How local youth engagement can influence statewide policy change.” This workshop focused on the connection between youth, policy change at the local/regional level, and State Laws.
MPY Conference on Vaping with Attorney General Maura Healy Catherine Dhingra and Maureen Buzby were on a panel in front of approximately 250 participants. They discussed local strategies to address vaping epidemic including policy change, enforcement, community education, and peer to peer strategies.
Understanding Childhood Trauma & impacts on learning and school environment (5 Part Professional Development Series for WPS on Mental Health- Part 4): On March 6 Wake Up sponsored Lisa J. Baron, EdD from Alliance for Inclusion and Prevention to go over this important topic with 40 WPS educators.
SOS Screening at Galvin Middle School-Galvin Student Support staff worked throughout the year to develop a method for better serving the needs of students who are or have experienced suicidal ideation. On March 19th, the WPS SOS team successfully screened 229 eighth grade students through the Signs of Suicide Program and BSAD screening tool. The combined high school and middle school student support teams followed up with all students who scored elevated or at risk for depressive thoughts including those of suicide, by the end of the school day. Parents were called, therapists were referred, and safety plans were enacted.
Parent University- Saturday March 23rd - Wake-Up co-hosted the 6th annual Parent University from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm at Galvin Middle School. Over 200 parents and caregivers came out to learn about Social Emotional, Academic, and Community topics. Jerry Posner led a keynote titled, “The Practical Power of Gratitude” Parents then attended two different workshops (with a selection of twelve different titles lead by school personnel and area experts.) “In Plain Sight” facilitated by Catherine D. and Officer Jay Skillings was one of the more popular workshops receiving strong evaluations from participants. Overall, praise for Parent University. One participant stated, “I loved the sense of community, the very positive vibe and the fact that parenting is hard, but it feels less so when you see that we're all in this together.”
4th Annual Wakefield Mental Health Forum: Dr. Robert Brooks “Raising Resilient Children & Adolescents” & Presentation from William James Interface Referral Service Wednesday, April 3rd, 7 pm Galvin Auditorium co-sponsored by Wake-Up. The event also featured several resource tables. Over 100 people came and post-event evaluation demonstrated a vast majority of attendees found the speaker’s information useful and applicable to their home and/or work.
WMHS & Galvin MS Complete SBIRT Screening Galvin (7th Grade) and WMHS (9th) grade completed the SBIRT (Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment), the mandate under Governor Bakers Opioid Bill. School staff should be commended for their hard to develop a system for screening all students in those respective grades, a thorough screening experience, and a process for follow-up.
2019 YRBS Administered to all students in grades 7-12 Completed by the schools in early April. This was done in conjunction with other schools in the Middlesex League and was funded by Lahey Health.
RX Takeback- April 27th Successful event! 3 large boxes were filled just from people coming to the station on the day of the event. We turned in 10 boxes with a total weight of 299.4 pounds. This was the busiest event that Sgt McCall has witnessed to date.
Diversion Class- April 30th Andrew Cedrone facilitated the two-hour group education class which is one of the mandatory components of Wakefield PD, NE Voke, and WMHS’s Diversion Program. There were 8 participants in the class.
New Police Officer Training- May 13th Catherine and Tracy led a two-hour training with Wakefield Police Department’s four new officers. Catherine gave an overview of the coalition, collaborative programs with the police department, local data and emerging trends. Tracy shared her story, gave an overview of Recovery Coaching Services/her role in Wakefield, and discussed emerging trends in local substance use.
Senator Lewis’s Community Conversation on Vaping- May 15th This event, focused on combatting the Teen Vaping Epidemic, featured DPH Commissioner Dr. Monica Bahrel, Elise Yannett (Office of MA Attorney General), Maureen Buzby- our Regional Tobacco Coordinator, and two Youth Action Team members: Logan & Elena. There were approximately 25 people in the audience including public health, elected officials, law enforcement, and parents.
Wake-Up Annual Meeting- May 21st - over 65 people were in attendance at the Wake-Up Annual meeting. Youth Action Team members presented highlights from their year. Jill Charie & Donna Macdonald highlighted some of the coalition’s new projects and talked about the year ahead. Tracy Asciollio introduced herself as Wakefield’s new recovery coach. Chief Rick Smith was presented with the Wake-Up Impact Award, not only as a coalition founder but for his outstanding commitment to Wake-Up’s mission and vision. Our Youth Action Team Leaders presented WMHS teacher, Becky Lamarre with the 2nd annual Trusted Adult Award. Finally, graduating YAT Leaders Billy Stevens and Isabella Kehoe were thanked for their years of service to the coalition.
Wakefield Public Schools Social Emotional Behavioral Health Team Presentation- May 22nd Catherine gave an overview of the coalition updates, collaborative programs with the schools including the WMHS Diversion Program. Tracy shared her story, gave an overview of Recovery Coaching Services/her role in Wakefield.
2nd Annual Senior Night- May 29th/30th The event was a hit for the nearly 200 seniors who attended. WMHS Senior Night Committee was able to raise over $25,000 in cash and prizes to ensure the event was a success. Over 40 individuals volunteered at check-in, check-out, and at Dave and Busters to provide a safe and fun environment for our graduates.
Festival By the Lake- June 8th Wake-Up had a table and Youth Action Team leaders talked with visitors, answered questions and handed out information/resources.
Youth Action Team Updates
Galvin Youth Action Team Leaders attend MPY Youth Leadership Conference on January 11, 2019. YOU LEAD is an initiative of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association for middle school student and adult leaders, and is co-sponsored by Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. Topics Include: Leadership, Healthy relationships and violence prevention, Substance abuse prevention
Family Feud On February 27th. The Galvin Youth Action Team hosted their 4th Annual Family Feud. Over 30 Youth Action Team members were responsible for planning, promoting, and running this event which drew over 200 participants & audience members. This is not only a fun event, but helps build a positive school culture and recruit future Youth Action Team members.
WEF Celebration of Learning. On April 10th 7pm, at Galvin Auditorium Wakefield Education Foundation Community Impact Award. Our Youth Action Team Leaders accepted the award on behalf of the over 70 youth involved in the WMHS & Galvin Clubs.
Vaping Focus Group On April 11th. Youth Action Team Leaders lead two focus groups (one with 5th/6th graders & one with 7th/8th graders) on Youth Vaping at the Boys and Girls Club. The youth had spent two weeks getting trained on how to facilitate focus groups and worked with the Health Department and Boys and Girls Club staff to generate questions. Leaders shared a summary of the focus groups at the April Wake Up meeting.
“Kick Butts Day” On April 3rd. Six students from WMHS joined the 84 Movement at the 2019 Kick Butts Day Celebration at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. Kick Butts Day is a national day that raises awareness of the importance of preventing tobacco use among teens. According to surveys, Wakefield youth state the two main reasons they would try vaping is attractive flavors & curiosity. Students gained leadership skills, through public speaking opportunities and meeting with officials including Representative Wong and Representative Brodeur. They had a chance to connect with hundreds of other youth who are motivated to make positive community change and promote healthy choices amongst their peers.
Matt Bellace spoke to WMHS student body on positive risk-taking & natural highs on April 22nd. The Youth Action Team followed up this speaker with bulletin boards & posters promoting his message. The YAT was able to host Mr. Bellace thanks to a grant from the Wakefield Education Foundation!
Youth Action Team Facilitate 9th-grade Health Classes. Youth Action Team Leaders and Club members presented to 9th-grade Health classes in April.
Galvin’s Got Talent-May 10th Galvin Youth Action team worked hard to plan this school-wide, positive school culture event. This was the most successful event to date, with over 14 acts and 200+ audience members.
Cooling Off Menthol: A menthol/mint survey was conducted across the state with over 3000 responses tallied. At WMHS, 310 youth responded mostly 9th/10th graders via health classes. The brief survey asked various questions including: Do you consider mint or menthol to be a flavor? 61.5% said yes. In your community, do you see mint or menthol tobacco products (such as Kool, Newport, JUUL mint), used, sold or advertised? 79.5% said yes. We received a project stipend and applied it to our end of the year HS YAT Club party inviting other clubs to hang out with us, playing games & eating Panera.
Get the Vape Facts Campaign: At WMHS, the YATL’s hung posters, included postcard facts in final school year edition of the Bathroom Buzz and put the postcards in all the faculty/staff mailboxes for them to share & display in their classrooms. We will receive a project stipend for this which we would like to apply to our Youth to Youth Eastern States Conference tuition.