Friday, November 17, 2017

Give Yourself Something to Be Thankful for this Thanksgiving

The seasons are turning from warm summer days to cool crisp mornings and vibrant fall colors. The season for thanksgiving is upon us and this is a time to give thanks for all things important to you.  While there are many things you may be thankful for in your life some may be dealing with the abuse of drugs and alcohol. The SAFE Coalition wants to take this opportunity to provide you with resources to assist you in your decision to become free of Drug Addiction.  Keep in mind drug addiction includes addiction to alcohol and tobacco. 

It takes courage and strength to face up to drug addiction. When you’re bogged down in drug abuse and drug addiction, sobriety can seem like an impossible goal. But recovery is never out of reach, no matter how hopeless your current situation seems.

Change is possible with the right treatment and support, and by making lifestyle changes that address the root cause of your addiction. Don’t give up, even if you’ve tried and failed before. There are many different roads to recovery, but almost all involve bumps, pitfalls, and setbacks. But by examining the problem and thinking about making the necessary changes, you’re already on your way. These seven steps will help you on your road.
1.       Decide to make a change: For many people struggling with addiction, the biggest and toughest step toward recovery is the very first one: deciding to make a change. It’s normal to feel conflicted about giving up your drug of choice, even when you realize it’s causing problems in your life. Change is never easy.
2.       Explore your treatment options: Once you’ve made the decision to challenge your drug addiction, it’s time to explore your treatment choices. Options can be found online, by talking to your doctor or calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
3.       Reach out for support: Don’t try to go it alone. Whatever treatment approach you choose, having a solid support system is essential. The more positive influences you have in your life, the better your chances for recovery. Recovering from drug addiction isn’t easy, but with people you can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, it’s a little less tough.
4.       Learn healthy ways to cope with stress: Even once you’ve recovered from drug addiction, you’ll still have to face the problems that led to your drug problems in the first place. Did you start using drugs to numb painful emotions, calm yourself down after an argument, unwind after a bad day, or forget about your problems? After you become sober, the negative feelings that you used to dampen with drugs will resurface. For treatment to be successful, and to remain sober in the long term, you’ll need to resolve these underlying issues as well.
5.       Keep triggers and cravings in check: While getting sober from drugs is an important first step, it’s only the beginning of the recovery process. Once sober, the brain needs time to recover and rebuild connections that have changed while addicted. During this time, drug cravings can be intense. You can support your continued sobriety by making a conscious effort to avoid people, places, and situations that trigger the urge to use.
6.       Build a meaningful drug free life: You can support your drug treatment and protect yourself from relapse by having activities and interests that provide meaning to your life. It’s important to be involved in things that you enjoy and make you feel needed. When your life is filled with rewarding activities and a sense of purpose, your addiction will lose its appeal.
7.       Don’t let relapse keep you down: Relapse is a common part of the recovery process from drug addiction. While relapse is understandably frustrating and discouraging, it can also be an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and correct your treatment course.

By taking the above steps to become free of addiction next thanksgiving you could be giving thanks for a sober life.

Information provided by Helpguide. Additional information can be found on their website at www.helpguide.org. If you would like additional local assistance you may contact the SAFE Coalition at info@vbsafecoalition.com, by phone at      319-293-3334 ext. 1017 or online at www.vbsafecoalition.com

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Van Buren County Holds Youth Leadership Training

Leading into the new school year of 2017-2018, the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition hosted the annual youth leadership training on October 23, 2017.  The coalition invited all high school members involved in the Van Buren County Youth Leadership Council (YLC) to attend this training. The ideal reason for this event is to help students that are willing to learn better grasp the ideas of being a leader and become aware of certain health defining situations. This year, YLC numbers have decreased compared to recent years, but there was still a decent group of 12 youth between 9th - 12th grade who attended with an open mind and focused on learning.

Throughout the day the students took part in different activities and discussions such as Leadership Training, Art Activities, Planning and an ISTEP presentation. The Leadership workshop provided the students with an opportunity to get to know one another a little better, to participate in some team building activities, and to have fun while learning the art of leadership. The youth also participated in several activities and discussions and had a couple of guests that took the time to visit during the training.

The first guest was Garin Buttermore from Iowa Department of Public Health.  He did a presentation for the youth on the Iowa Students for Tobacco Education and Prevention (ISTEP) program that addresses the prevention of youth tobacco use.  This is a state wide youth group that has a council made up of high school and college students that choose their activities for the state.  The council then enlists the help of local youth organizations to do the activities in their areas.  The YLC group in Van Buren County partners with ISTEP in their activities throughout the year.  YLC members are also offered the opportunity to attend the ISTEP Summit in the spring each year.

The second guest was Kelli Keck from Epiphany Community Services. She conducted a focus group discussion about different issues and problems that the students had witnessed and their feelings on these topics. Kelli then provided a training on how to address issues and problems in the community through the strategic prevention framework.  She had the youth split into groups and read various information containing data about drugs, tobacco, alcohol, and even suicide issues in Van Buren County.  Finally, she and the Youth Coordinators helped the youth to develop action plans to address some of these issues in the community. 

Lindsey Starnes, a senior at Van Buren said, “I really enjoyed finding more ways to inform students and members of the community about the harmful effects of using tobacco. I also enjoyed making new friends that share the same goal as me.”

This event is fun for the students each year and provides them with some valuable learning opportunities. They are able to learn public speaking skills, leadership skills, planning skills and how to make a change in their community based on the problems that they have identified! YLC members will be active all year in hopes to spread the word about the dangers of alcohol and tobacco as well as a few health and wellness initiatives …… be watching…… more to come!


For more information on Youth Leadership Council or this training please contact the SAFE Coalition office at 319-293-3334 ext. 1017 or info@vbsafecoalition.com.





Monday, November 6, 2017

Want to make a difference in Van Buren County?

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition is continually looking for volunteers who are interested in making Van Buren County a SAFE place to live.

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition came together originally in 1993, after the floods, as a way to get community members together to work on a specific issue.  This group was organized to assist with flood efforts and clean-up after the flood.  The group met sporadically over the next few years.  It was not until December of 2002 that the group became organized.  There were 11 members at the first organized meeting, and the group has now grown to over 60 members. 

The coalition is currently working on strategies to address tobacco prevention, Rx and OTC medication abuse, underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County with Community Partnership Funds, Community Grants, and the Iowa Partnership for Success Funds. This work requires input from all areas of the community. If you are a parent, business owner, concerned citizen, faith based representative, young adult, youth worker, youth, or anyone else who wants to make a difference, the coalition needs you. Your input is valuable and we want to hear from you.

If you are interested in finding out more about the coalition or think that you would like to get involved the coalition would love to have you join! Coalition meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 9:00 am at the VBCH Community Services Center Conference Room in Keosauqua.

Next Meeting:
November 21, 2017
9:00 am
VBCH Community Services Center Conference Room

If you are interested in joining but not able to attend the meeting, please contact us at 319-293-3334 ext. 1017 or via email at info@vbsafecoalition.com and you can be added to our member list.

Check us out on the web for more information: www.vbsafecoalition.com or on Facebook at Van Buren County SAFE Coalition.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Van Buren County IPFS Project Update

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition was awarded the Iowa Partnership for Success (IPFS) Grant in February 2015 to address underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County.  The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition’s IPFS project is funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

During the 2016-17 Fiscal Year the coalition is continuing to build capacity and address the five strategies it was funded to work on as follows:  
1)     Alcohol Restrictions at Community Events at Privately Owned Facilities: The coalition has begun working with privately owned facilities to help them implement alcohol policies focused on the best practices for alcohol service at their location.  Four facilities have established a “No Alcohol Allowed” policy.  The coalition is working with two other facilities to develop written alcohol restriction policies and is in contact with three other facilities about whether or not they would like to develop policies for their facilities. 
2)     Alcohol Restrictions in Public Places: The coalition researched what alcohol restriction policies are being followed in each town and the county.  Coalition members visited with each city council in July to present them with information on policies they could use in their town that would address the availability of alcohol to youth in public places, such as public parks and community ball fields.  Coalition members will be visiting with the city councils in January to find out if they are interested in implementing alcohol restriction policies for their public places.  
3)     Substance Abuse Prevention Programs for Youth: The coalition is working with the Van Buren Community School District to implement the Life Skills Training Program in the 7th and 8th grades.  This program is a groundbreaking substance abuse and violence prevention program based on more than 30 years of rigorous scientific research. During the 2017-18 school year the 7th grade students will be completing Level I of the curriculum and the 8th grade students will be completing Level II as the curriculum builds upon itself.  The first group of 7th grade students began the class in September and will complete it on October 4th.  The next group of 7th grade students will begin the class on October 5th. 
4)     Underage Drinking Prevention Media Campaign: The coalition has worked with local media outlets to implement IDPH’s “What Do You Throw Away” underage drinking prevention media campaign.  It is currently displayed on the billboard in Keosauqua; posters in the Van Buren County Hospital & Clinics; posters and screensavers at local libraries; posters, electronic billboard ads, and computer backgrounds at the Van Buren Community Middle/High School; posters at the Lacey Keosauqua State Park; and posters in local convenience stores. 
5)     Social Host Ordinance: A Social Host Ordinance would address the problem of adults knowingly providing a place for an underage drinking party.  The coalition currently is working to educate community members and government officials on why this ordinance would be helpful in Van Buren County. 


For more information on the Van Buren County IPFS Project or to join the coalition and its work please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or info@vbsafecoalition.com.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Rx Take Back Day - October 28, 2017 - Van Buren County Sheriff's Office Lobby


On Halloween, and Every Day, Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving - The SAFE Coalition Reminds Halloween Partiers Against Drinking and Driving

This Halloween, the SAFE Coalition is reminding Halloween partiers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. If your Halloween party involves alcohol then you have to make a plan to get home without getting behind the wheel.

If you want to stay safe this Halloween then make a plan to get home without driving if you’ve been drinking. Even one drink impairs judgement, so plan to get home with a designated a sober drive. Buzzed driving is drunk driving, so think ahead to stay safe.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 43 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31st – 5:59 a.m. November 1st) from 2009 to 2013 were in crashes involving a drunk driver. On Halloween Night alone 119 people lost their lives over that same period. Children out trick-or-treating and the parents accompanying them are also at risk as 19 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes on Halloween night (2009-2013) involved drunk drivers.

It is illegal everywhere in America to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. Even if you drive drunk and aren’t killed or seriously injured you could end up paying as much as $10,000 for a DUI.

Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, so follow these simple tips to stay safe:

·         Plan a safe way to get home before you attend the party. Alcohol impairs judgement, as well as reaction time. If you’re drunk you’re more like to choose to drive drunk.
·         Designate a sober driver or a call a sober friend or family member to get home. 
·         Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
·         If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement when it is safe to do so.
·         If you see someone you think is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them get home safely.

For more information, please visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office taking back unwanted prescription drugs October 28, 2017 at the Sheriff’s Office

On Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 14th opportunity in 7 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  Bring your pills for disposal to the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office at 907 Broad Street, Keosauqua, IA 52565.  The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles/sharps, or inhalers, only pills or patches.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 28th Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website or contact the SAFE Coalition at info@vbsafecoalition.com or 319-293-3334 ext. 1017 or contact the Sheriff’s Office at             319-293-3426.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Marijuana in Iowa: What You Should Know About Marijuana Concentrates (THC Extracts)

Highly potent THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) products are obtained by extracting THC out of the marijuana plant.  THC is the chemical in marijuana that produces a “high”.

Typical marijuana seized by law enforcement contains an average of about 12% THC.  Concentrates contain very high levels of THC, ranging from 40% to 80%.  Concentrates often appear similar to honey or butter.  Street names for these extracted concentrates include: Budder, Honey Oil, Wax, Ear Wax, Shatter, Black Glass, Dabs (dabbing), Butane Hash Oil, Butane Honey Oil (BHO), Errl and 710 (the word OIL flipped and spelled backwards). 

Hash oils and marijuana waxes are often produced in what are called Butane Hash Oil labs.  Butane gas is a highly flammable component used in the process of making concentrates from the marijuana plant.  An increasing number of BHO labs are being reported in the western United States, as are BHO lab fires, explosions and injuries.  In Iowa, law enforcement is reporting BHO lab activity in some communities. 

While marijuana concentrates are relatively new, one recent study of high-potency marijuana (16% THC) showed a psychotic disorder was five times more likely among regular daily users, and three time more likely among weekend users. (Kings College, London, 2015)  The effects of using marijuana containing lower THC levels have become well documented by research.  (“Adverse Effects of Marijuana,” New England Journal of Medicine, June 2014)  Some of these are: Short Term – impaired short-term memory, impaired motor coordination, altered judgement, paranoia and psychosis (in large doses); Long Term – addiction: 9% for all users (17% of teens), altered brain development, cognitive impairment (lower IQ) among frequent users during adolescence and symptoms of chronic bronchitis. 

THC extracts smuggled from other states and BHO lab remnants are being found with increasing frequency in Iowa.  The Iowa Crime Lab reports an upsurge in the number of marijuana submissions involving concentrates in the form of marijuana oils, waxes, vaping cartridges, candies and other food items (some labeled for sale and some home-made).  (Iowa Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Investigation, May 2015)

This information has been gathered and supplied by the Alliance of Coalitions for Change (AC4C).  For more information on the dangers of marijuana use in Iowa please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or at info@vbsafecoalition.com.  You can also find more information at www.vbsafecoalition.com, https://sites.google.com/site/iaac4c/topics-of-interest or https://www.facebook.com/Iowa-Voices-Of-Reason-778768612266782/photos_stream?tab=photos.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

SAFE Coalition Member Attends National Prevention Network Conference

The National Prevention Network conference was held September 12-14, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County. The conference was three days, complete with keynotes, breakouts, and networking opportunities. The conference theme for 2017 was Rooted in Tradition, Strengthened by Science, Evolving the Field of Prevention.

The National Prevention Network (NPN) Conference (formerly called the NPN Prevention Research Conference) has a long-standing history. The first conference was held in 1988 in Kansas City, Missouri and has been conducted on an annual basis ever since in various cities around the country. Over the years, the conference has grown in size, hosting 700-1,000 participants.

The National Prevention Network (NPN) Conference hosts federal, state and local professionals from the substance abuse prevention field and related disciplines. Participants included: prevention providers, school personnel, government agency representatives and directors, law enforcement personnel, policy makers, coalition leaders and members, counselors, health education specialists, social workers, and high school students.

The purpose of the National Prevention Network (NPN) Conference is to highlight the latest research in the substance abuse prevention field. It provides a forum for prevention professionals, coalition leaders, researchers, and federal partners to share research, best practices and promising evaluation results for the purpose of integrating research into prevention practice.

The SAFE Coalition participant attended sessions that encouraged the coalition to focus on the following: the Opioid Crisis; working with the Faith Sector; Project Amp: The Role of Young Adults in Recovery in Preventing Adolescent Use; Advancing Prevention in Times of Transition; the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health: A Focus on Prevention; utilizing Win-Win Collaborations; the mixing of alcohol and benzodiazepines; SAMHSA’s Prevention Resources; Youth Marijuana Use: New Research Prevention Strategies and Public Health Challenges; Social Media in Substance Abuse Prevention: Tools for Creating a Social Media Plan; and Preventing Marijuana Use through School Based Interventions and Youth Led Social Norm Change. For more information on the SAFE Coalition please call 319-293-6412 or email at info@vbsafecoalition.com.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Prescription Drug Take Backs

Prescription drug abuse is a growing concern in Iowa, due to the misuse of prescription painkillers (opioids), anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medicines, stimulants, and others medicines.  When not used as directed, controlled substances can lead to behavioral disorders, addiction and even death.  This is also true of heroin, increasingly used by some as a substitute for opioid pain medicine.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take in your home and community to help prevent prescription and opioid drug abuse.  By monitoring your medicines at home and disposing of them in a safe manner (not flushing), you can prevent the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs and protect Iowa’s water supply.

You have three options to properly get rid of unneeded over the counter and prescription drugs locally as outlined below.

1.      “Take Back Kiosks” (BEST!): More than 50 local law enforcement centers and community pharmacies have established permanent Take Back collection boxes, and the number of sites is growing. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office now offers this service.  The Kiosk is in the entry way and is available during normal Sheriff’s Office hours.  This program allows you to dispose of all medications (prescription, over the counter, controlled and non-controlled).  It does NOT allow for the disposal of inhalers, sharps/needles or liquids.  In the first week the Sheriff’s Office took back 21 pounds of medications and disposed of them with the help of the local DEA Office in St. Louis, MO. 
2.      “Iowa Pharmacy Association’s “Take Away” program” (Better): Lee Pharmacy has this program available for non-controlled substances.  Just stop in to the pharmacy and they will be able to help you understand how their program works. 
3.      “Take Back Events” (Better…but you may have to wait): Twice each year, on a Saturday in the Spring and Fall, law enforcement agencies team up with local organizations in over 100 Iowa communities to sponsor a special one-day collection of unused medicines.  Details typically are provided closer to the dates of these events, but general information is available at the DEA's Website: https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.

For more information on how to dispose of your medications safely please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or info@vbsafecoalition.com


Information provided by the Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy.  

Monday, September 18, 2017

5 Tips to Prevent Underage Drinking During Homecoming

Sobering Up Editor
Homecoming is an annual rite of passage for high school students, and one that often involves alcohol. Underage drinking and alcohol-related crashes involving minors tend to increase during homecoming season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
·         22% of teen drivers involved in fatal car crashes were drinking.
·         More than half of fatal motor accidents involving teen drivers occur on weekends.
·         Teens who use alcohol are far more likely to binge drink than adults.

Homecoming can come with more chances and pressures to drink. As students get ready for the big game and dance, here are 5 actions parents can take to prevent underage drinking.

Discuss your expectations about alcohol use: Parents may feel anything they say to their teen goes in one ear and out the other. In fact, parents do influence teens’ drinking decisions. Research shows children may interpret a parent’s failure to talk about underage drinking as indifference, making them more likely to use alcohol. Have regular conversations with your teen about alcohol misuse, and specifically talk about it before events, like homecoming, that may include alcohol.

Find out who your teen will be with and talk with the other students’ parents: Ask whether adults will be present if teens come by after the official event and consider the other family’s attitude toward underage drinking. Even though it is illegal and dangerous, some parents choose to provide alcohol to teens in their home. In the state of Iowa it is illegal to host a party with alcohol for youth per the statewide Social Host Ordinance.  Asking questions won’t score you any “cool” points with your kid, but it will help keep your teen safe.

Provide a sober after-party space: Many students want the night to continue after the game or dance ends. Providing an alcohol-free environment allows the party to keep going safely. And it’s important for parents to actively supervise after-parties. Adults can be held responsible for failing to supervise minors who are later caught drinking, even if the adult didn’t supply or know about the booze.

Offer to drive: Providing a guaranteed designated driver ensures your child won’t end up in a car with an intoxicated person behind the wheel. Driving your teen also removes other risks, such as texting or distracted driving, which may increase with the excitement of the evening.

Let your teen know you are “on call”: While parents should not condone underage drinking, it’s important for teens to know they can call for help if they or their friends don’t have a safe ride or are in danger.

For more information on how to talk with your teen contact the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or info@vbsafecoalition.com.  You can also checkout the website for more resources at www.vbsafecoalition.com.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Botvin Life Skills Training Curriculum

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition was awarded the Iowa Partnership for Success (IPFS) Grant in 2015 to address underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County.  The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition’s IPFS project is funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

In June of 2016 the Iowa Department of Public Health approved the use of the Botvin Life Skills Training Curriculum at the Van Buren Community Jr. /Sr. High School to address underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County.  On July 20, 2016 the Van Buren Community School Board approved the implementation of the program in the 7th and 8th grade Explore Rotation.  In the 2016-17 school year both grades completed the Level I curriculum.  In the 2017-18 school year the 7th Grade students will complete Level I and the 8th Grade students will complete Level II as the Life Skills Curriculum builds on the information provided each year. 

The new edition of the Botvin LifeSkills Training Middle School program is a groundbreaking substance abuse and violence prevention program based on more than 30 years of rigorous scientific research. Now updated with new graphics, references and statistics, it is proven to be the most effective evidence-based program used in schools today. LifeSkills Training is comprehensive, dynamic, and developmentally designed to promote positive youth development. In addition to helping kids resist drug, alcohol, and tobacco use, the LifeSkills Training Middle School program also effectively supports the reduction of violence and other high-risk behaviors. 

The program learning objectives area as follows:
·         Personal Self-Management Skills: Students develop skills that help them enhance self-esteem, develop problem-solving abilities, reduce stress and anxiety, and manage anger.
·         General Social Skills: Students gain skills to meet personal challenges such as overcoming shyness, communicating clearly, building relationships, and avoiding violence.
·         Drug Resistance Skills: Students build effective defenses against pressures to use tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.

For more information on the Life Skills Training curriculum please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or info@vbsafecoalition.com

Thursday, August 31, 2017

September is National Suicide Prevention Month

By Kim Torguson of the Action Alliance
The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) – the nation’s public-private partnership championing suicide prevention as a national priority – and its partners, like the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition in Iowa, are coming together to inform the public about simple actions that can support someone in crisis and potentially help save a life. This September, during National Suicide Prevention Month and National Suicide Prevention Week (September 11-16, 2017), the Action Alliance is asking organizations to step up to educate the public about the role anyone, anywhere can play in being there for someone who is struggling or in crisis.

Join the collective effort!
·       Sign up for the #NSPW Thunderclap campaign
·       Promote the hashtag #NSPW when posting social media messages about being there
·       Visit our website to access information about our partner’s campaigns focused on being there for others
·       Post our shareable social media icons on your social media channels
·       Change your profile frame by downloading and customizing our Facebook Frames

Additionally, in preparation for Suicide Prevention Month, the Action Alliance held a webinar,  Developing Successful and Positive Suicide Prevention Messaging -- Planning ahead for Suicide Prevention Month on July 10 that provided an overview of the four elements of the Action Alliance's Framework for Successful Messaging and offered tips and guidance for developing messages that are strategic, safe, and aligned with prevention goals.  
National Day of Prayer - Weekend of September 8, 2017
In collaboration with our #NSPW activities, the Action Alliance’s Faith Communities Task Force is promoting a National Day of Prayer for Faith Hope & Life the weekend of September 8-10, 2017. With September 10th being World Suicide Prevention Day, the Task Force is leading a national movement among faith communities that weekend to offer prayers and focus on tangible ways to be there for those in distress. In addition to visiting and promoting the National Day of Prayer webpage, other ways you and your partners can get involved include:
·       Pledge to participate on the weekend of 9/8, 
·       watch the video about the National Day of Prayer effort
·       view sample prayers from diverse faith traditions, and
·       promote the hashtags #PrayFHL and #NSPW

For more information on Suicide Prevention month please contact the SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or info@vbsafecoalition.com or checkout the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention website: http://actionallianceforsuicideprevention.org/national-strategy-suicide-prevention-0