The Positive YOUth Initiative is focused on building county wide capacity to reduce substance misuse among youth 9-20 years old in Hunterdon County. This initiative addresses behavioral health disparities such as at-risk youth and under-served populations in Hunterdon County.
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Flor Sanchez, our Latino Outreach Specialist, helps the Positive YOUth Initiative close the language barrier by translating all of our information into Spanish.
Flor also provides bilingual prevention programs throughout the county and runs a lunch group at Hunterdon Central with ELL students. Partnering with the Latino Access Coalition (LAC) and Harvest Family Success Center (HFSC), Positive YOUth assists in closing the gap for many of Hunterdon County’s Latino families.
Positive YOUth encourages the implementation of SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment) at Hunterdon Pediatrics, the five high schools in Hunterdon County, as well as with Raritan Valley Community College to prevent onset and reduce progression of alcohol, opioid, and marijuana use disorder.
Contact Erin Cohen at email@example.com to schedule an SBIRT training.
We work with the local LGBTQ+ youth community and host a youth group called ICONS (Inclusive Community Of Neighborhood Support).
For more information about ICONS email Kaylyn Bettencourt at firstname.lastname@example.org
Positive YOUth has many wonderful partners including the Safe Communities Coalition (SCC), One Voice, RVCC, Partnership for Health Coalition (Drug-Free Task Force), National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency (NCADD), the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office and Law Enforcement, Latino Access Coalition (LAC), Harvest Family Success Center (HFSC), United Way, Hunterdon Pediatrics, and local high schools and middle schools.
Positive YOUth collaborated with schools to install Help App posters in the bathroom stalls and clings on the bathroom mirrors promoting the Help App. This project was implemented because the bathrooms are an area where students in distress and in most need of resources go. Having resources available in high traffic areas that are also semi-private allow students in need to access resources without others seeing, meaning they may be more likely to access those resources.
The Positive Sticker Shock was aimed as a positive norms campaign. Using data from the 2020 Pride Survey 6000 stickers in both English and Spanish were bought and 3000 were put on take out containers at local pizzarias, and delis before and during Super Bowl weekend to highlight that most students do not use substances.
The 2nd Annual #BreakTheStigmaHC walk/run encourages members in the community to get outside as a healthy coping skill. There was also an adjoining media campaign promoting the event and sharing information about mental illness. The event had 134 participants who recorded walking a combined 395 miles.
We are working with local middle and high schools to install vape disposal boxes. This is being implemented with an adjoining policy change in schools that if a student is seen disposing of their vape devices or other vaping paraphernalia they will not get in trouble.
The use of e-cigarettes among youth was declared an epidemic by Dr. Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General in December 18, 2018. Vaping is rampant in Hunterdon County High Schools. In collaboration with the principal at North Hunterdon High School, the Take Back Your Vape Initiative was created. For one week leading up to Take Back Your Vape Day, students were sent snippets of information about the dangers of vaping, health risks, and the manipulation of the tobacco companies. Students were incentivized to turn in their devices/pods by receiving a gift card ranging from $5-$20 to McDonald’s and Dunkin. Students also received raffle tickets based on how many vape products they turned in to be entered into a drawing for a pair of Apple AirPods. Resources were also given to students to help quit at the time of surrender. Students were able to turn in devices anonymously, without questions or consequences, and without school personnel present.
Take Back Your Vape Day brought in 59 vape devices, 15 vape juices, 4 chargers, and 82 pods.
Anyone in the community can turn vape devices into our office Mondays-Thursdays from 12-4 pm.
Prevention Resources, Inc.
4 Walter Foran Blvd., Suite 410
Flemington, NJ 08829.
For more information, contact Erin Cohen email@example.com
Drop Your Phone and Talk is a student led initiative. Students were concerned about not connecting with their peers and decided during lunch instead of looking at their phones they would put them away and talk. Baskets were put on tables, in hallways and other areas where students could place their phones. Inside of the baskets were also conversation starters for those students who might need something to talk about.