October 2023 Newsletter

TOGETHER! for Youth is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing prevention services to Chelan & Douglas County youth.

Halloween Safety www.safekids.org/halloween

Halloween is a time for kids to use their imaginations, dress up and have a little bit of trick-or-treat fun! To keep your littles safest while they are out and about, here are some of Safe Kids Worldwide top tips:

1.) Visibility: Use reflective tape or stickers on costumes & bags, carry flashlights or glow sticks, and wear lighter colored clothing to be more easily seen by drivers.

2.) For kids under the age of 12, join them in their venture!

3.) For drivers, slow down and stay alert. Utilize your headlights earlier in the day to spot kids from further away.

4.) Remind kids to utilize crosswalks or to cross at street corners rather than crossing in the middle of a block.

5.) To avoid trips and falls, be sure costumes fit properly. When possible, choose face paint over masks for optimum vision for the kids.

For more tips, visit the website above and follow the included links.

Question, Persuade, Refer

The QPR Institute is partnered with Hope Squad to provide training to our students in how to respond to a suicide or mental health crisis. The QPR mission is to “reduce suicidal behaviors and save lives by providing innovative, practical, and proven suicide prevention training. The signs of crisis are all around us. We believe that quality education empowers all people, regardless of their background, to make a positive difference in the life of someone they know.” QPR stands for Question, Persuade, Refer. This simple 3-step process makes it easy to follow when someone may need to intervene.

Each year, our Hope Squad students go through a simplified 30 minute QPR training so we can provide training and tools to our students for when students or peers may be contemplating suicide. We are not training our students to be counselors, rather we are giving them resources so that these students can use to help persuade someone to get help and refer them to a counselor or mental health professional. QPR is an integral part of Hope Squad and sets the program up to e successful in providing suicide prevention awareness, by looking for and knowing the signs and symptoms of suicide.

The partnership between Hope Squad and the QPR Institute requires an Instructor certification to facilitate this training. Our Regional Coordinator, Alyssa Polson, as well as a few of our mental health partnerships and schools are able to help facilitate these trainings for our Hope Squad Members. Currently, we have 5 QPR trainings set between October and December for the NCW Hope Squad Members and Advisors, with more to come in the months to come. QPR is highly encouraged for all of our Junior High and High School Hope Squads, which is about 22 Squads.

Depression Awareness Month

There is a lot of stigma and stereotyping that surrounds depression. By raising awareness, we can help increase overall understanding on depression and other mental health conditions and help overcome these stereotypes.

Depression isn’t like regular mood changes and how one feels about everyday life. It can affect all areas of life, including relationship and how one functions at school or work. According to World Health Organization, depression affects approximately 280 million people worldwide, occurring about 50% more in women than men. Additionally, more than 700,000 people die by suicide annually due to depression, and suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.

Symptoms include things like poor concentration, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, loss of appetite or over-eating, feeling hopeless and loss of interest in activities.

There are several types of depressive episodes and treatments. Some ways to help combat depression with self-care are staying connected to family and friends, exercise regularly, avoid or cut down on alcohol, talking with a trusted friend and seeking help from a professional.

For more information, visit https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression#:~:text=Approximately%20280%20million%20people%20in,among%20women%20than%20among%20men OR SAMHSA.gov

If you or someone you know if having thoughts of suicide, the Crisis Hotline is available 24 hours a day. Call or text 988. For those hard of hearing, you can dial 711, then 988.

“The winds of change really can be beautiful.” ~ Louise Myers

Truth Initiative is a great resource to aid parents and educators in reaching student to make informed choices regarding vaping prevention and quit resources. This includes providing tools to quit if they are already vaping. As new tobacco products continue to appear on the market, it is increasingly important that parents and educators familiarize themselves with new products that are gaining popularity such as pouches and synthetic nicotine. For more information, visit:


2023 Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative Wenatchee Community Survey

We are still collecting the 2023 Community Survey and need your help! In partnership with The Washington Health Care Authority, we distribute these surveys to get your opinions about youth substance use in our community, particularly grade levels 6-12. The data collected helps to inform and improve prevention programs for our youth.

It’s a short, anonymous survey that takes about 5-7 minutes.

Our goal is to receive 215 completed surveys by November 15, 2023. Your opinion is valuable to our organization, so please take a few minutes to complete the survey.

What’s Happening in Waterville?

Waterville Coalition Coordinator, Carrie VanLith, and Waterville School Student Assistant Professional (SAP), Jill Moomaw will be attending the 2023 Prevention Summit in Spokane, WA in the month of October. For the first time since COVID, they have the opportunity to take a team of 3 students from the Waterville BADD Club (Breaking Addictive Destructive Decisions) to the summit. The information these students learn will allow them to mentor younger students within the Waterville School District. The conference is being held at the historic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane.

The BADD Club is also organizing and hosting the Waterville Shocker Fest on Halloween. This event is open to the public community of Waterville. See details below if you are interested in attending.
Shocker Fest – Fun for the Family October 31, 2023 6:00 PM. Haunted House, Face Painting, Snacks, Photobooth, Trunk O Treats. 200 East Birch Street, Waterville.

Other Resources for Healthy Lungs from Truth Initiative – Additional Articles

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
~ Robert Lewis Stevenson

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