In collaboration with New England Prevention Technology Transfer Center, Casco Bay CAN hosted national speaker, Dr. Matt Bellace. Dr. Bellace focused his training on communicating effectively with teenagers about sensitive topics such as substance use and mental health during his Using Endorphins Wisely: The Science Behind Laughing, Meditating, Reducing Stress and Managing Your Emotions. He further provided insight into best-practice for empowering youth to find their “natural highs” such as theater, yoga, journaling, skiing, etc. in lieu of using alcohol or drugs.
The event was held outside in the tent at Pineland Farms and followed all CDC guidelines. Coalition members and others working in youth substance use prevention attended. We had 8 of our coalition members attend – a total of 22 attendees overall.
Tips from The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley for adults to help teens through this difficult time:
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Community Members Develop Video to Thank Local Teens for Their Sacrifices During COVID-19
NEW GLOUCESTER, MAINE (April 30, 2020) – Members of the community, from school counselors to the Cumberland County Sheriff, developed a video to thank Casco Bay region teens for their personal sacrifices during the pandemic to help keep their community safe and healthy.
This spring, teens have foregone sports, prom, graduation and college campus tours, as well as their vital connections with friends, teachers, coaches and counselors. The youth prevention coalition, Casco Bay CAN, reached out to their coalition members to send video messages acknowledging the sacrifices teens are making during this time and developed a three-minute video montage that will be shared across social media platforms and within school newsletters.
“We know that when young people feel isolated and disconnected some feelings of depression and anxiety can overwhelm them and this can lead to substance use as a way to self-medicate,” explains Phyllis Latham, chairperson of Casco Bay CAN and school counselor at RSU 5 Middle School. “We hope to help them feel their community cares and that Casco Bay CAN is a resource to help them during this time. We wanted to let them know they are our heroes through this pandemic and that we are in this with them as a support.”
Community members featured in the video include:
YouTube video featuring community members thanking Casco Bay region teens can be found here: https://youtu.be/26QBWrnv2_s
In addition to developing the video to support and thank teens, Casco Bay CAN has compiled a list of resources for families, counselors, educators and other community members to help address the additional stresses and changes youth are encountering during the COVID-19 crisis.