September 2014 Partnership Meeting

Welcome Julia Hampton, Director of WRVthrives, gave some information about West River Valley Thrives, the mission and vision and talked about “collective impact” – with multiple organizations and people working together we can make more of an impact than each of us trying to do things on our own.

Introductions People shared how their work and passions fit in with the work of WRVthrives.  Katherine with Food Connects shared how we are using similar strategies to make connections in the schools and both organizations are working for the overall health of the community.  Pat shared how she lives in Wardsboro and would like to see more supports for families that are struggling with someone suffering from addiction.  She would also like to see how more young people could take advantage of the activities at the library in Wardsboro.  Melanie is studying to be a substance abuse counselor and is interested in volunteering with WRVthrives.  Kathleen is a Chronic Disease Prevention Specialist and is involved in all sorts of creative efforts around the county.

Update on WRVthrives We are working on a community assessment that will be leading into a community forum that will gain input from the community on the story behind the statistics.  We did an activity of sharing risk and protective factors in our lives when we were adolescents.  Protective factors were lack of access to marijuana, family and church, sports, family expectations.  Risk factors were access to alcohol and drugs and curiosity.

Action Items Melanie said she would be on the work group to plan the community forum and Kathleen volunteered to help at the event or with any tasks leading up to the event.  Melanie and Pat took some parent surveys to give out in Wardsboro and Newfane.  We brainstormed some possible volunteer recruitment strategies for data entry – Landmark college students and High school students that need community service hours.

Upcoming meetings Ideas for information/training topics at upcoming meetings included:

  • brain development; medical marijuana and legalization facts;
  • existing resources for families – how to advertise what is available;
  • dual diagnosis of mental health and addiction – the book “At Whit’s End” was recommended;
  • Narcotics Anonymous information – meeting available at BMH 7pm Tuesdays, how could we start a meeting in the WRV area?

People said that mixing up the meeting time and place might allow for different people to be involved.

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