Friday, February 23, 2018

Want to make a difference in Van Buren County?

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition is continually looking for community members 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. There is a conference line if you cannot be there in person, but what like to call in and participate in the meeting. 

Next Meeting:
March 20, 2018
9:00 am
VBCH Community Services Center Conference Room

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

Check us out on the web for more information: or on the blog at - or on Facebook at Van Buren County SAFE Coalition. 


RESILIENCE: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope explores the science behind Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). It not only explains how exposure to trauma affects a child’s brain, but also demonstrates how this toxic stress increases children’s overall risk of developing diseases, engaging in risky behavior, facing jail time, and experiencing early death.

Throughout the film, the audience sees the movement that has begun within various sectors to treat toxic stress as a public health crisis, which has led to greater efforts in addressing and combating its adverse effects.
Date: March 7, 2018
Time: 6pm-7:30pm
Location: Roberts Memorial Center, Keosauqua, IA
Hosted by: Children’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Collaborative
Register/Contact: Julie Dalrymple,
Questions? Contact:

Thursday, February 15, 2018


The Chance That Children Will Use Alcohol Increases as They Get Older. 
About 10 percent of 12-year-olds say they have tried alcohol, but by age 15, that number jumps to 50 percent. The sooner you talk to your children about alcohol, the greater chance you have of influencing their decisions about drinking.[1]

Parents Play a Critical Role in Children’s Decisions to Experiment with Alcohol. 
Studies have shown that parents have a significant influence on young people’s decisions about alcohol consumption,[2]  especially when parents create supportive and nurturing environments in which their children can make their own decisions.[3] In fact, around 80 percent of children feel that parents should have a say in whether they drink alcohol.[4],[5]

The Conversation Is Often More Effective Before Children Start Drinking. 
If you talk to your kids directly and honestly, they are more likely to respect your rules and advice about alcohol use.

Some Children May Try Alcohol as Early as 9 Years Old. 
Most 6-year-olds know that alcohol is only for adults. Between the ages of 9 and 13, children start to view alcohol more positively. Many children begin to think underage drinking is OK. Some even start to experiment. It is never too early to talk to your children about alcohol.[6]

If You Do Not Talk About It, You Are Still Saying Something. 
What you say to your children about alcohol is up to you. But remember, parents who do not discourage underage drinking may have an indirect influence on their children’s alcohol use.[7]

It is important to:[8]
Talk early and often, in developmentally appropriate ways, with children and teens about your concerns—and theirs—regarding alcohol. Adolescents who know their parents’ opinions about youth drinking are more likely to fall in line with their expectations.
Establish policies early on, and be consistent in setting expectations and enforcing rules. Adolescents do feel that parents should have a say in decisions about drinking, and they maintain this deference to parental authority as long as they perceive the message to be legitimate; consistency is central to legitimacy.
Work with other parents to monitor where kids are gathering and what they are doing. Being involved in the lives of adolescents is key to keeping them safe.
Work in and with the community to promote dialogue about underage drinking and the creation and implementation of action steps to address it.
Be aware of your State’s laws about providing alcohol to your own children.
Never provide alcohol to someone else’s child.

To help parents in preventing and reducing adolescent alcohol and drug use, The Partnership at provides information and tools through its website, its community education programs, and its public service messages.  Other web resources:, Great Parent Talk Kit,,  Parents, family, and friends of kids please make sure to check out these sites or contact the SAFE Coalition for more information on issues that kids are facing today.  Van Buren County SAFE Coalition: 319-293-3334 ext. 1017, or check us out online at and on Facebook – Van Buren County SAFE Coalition. 

[1] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking: A Guide to Action for Educators. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2007.
[2] Nash, S.G., McQueen, A., and Bray, J.H. (2005). Pathways to adolescent alcohol use: Family environment, peer influence, and parental expectations. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37(1), 19–28.
[3] Barnes, G.M., Reifman, A.S., Farrell, M.P., and Dintcheff, B.A. (2000). The effects of parenting on the development of adolescent alcohol misuse: A six-wave latent growth model. Journal of Marriage and Family, 62(1), 175–186.
[4] Jackson, C. (2002). Perceived legitimacy of parental authority and tobacco and alcohol use during early adolescence. Journal of Adolescent Health 31(5), 425–432.
[5] Nash, S.G., McQueen, A., and Bray, J.H. (2005). Pathways to adolescent alcohol use: Family environment, peer influence, and parental expectations. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37(1), 19–28.
[6] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking: A Guide to Action for Educators. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2007.
[7] Sieving, R.E., Maruyama, G., Williams, C.L., and Perry, C.L. (2000). Pathways to adolescent alcohol use: Potential mechanisms of parent influence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 10(4), 489–514.
[8] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007

Drop the Dip & Drop Your Risk

By Sydney Goemaat & Lacey Smith
Love is in the air for all! Although it seems that the ones not dipping seem to be getting more enjoyment from this time of year. People need to know that chewing tobacco or dipping is indeed harmful. Not just to you but to the ones who care about you.  Who wants to be nagged by their loved ones to quit. If dipping has ever kept you from doing something, like getting to be with someone or taking a selfie then read on to get help.

The Great American Spit Out is able to give you the chance to Drop the Dip for the whole day! This can help you to stop the harmful side effects of dipping. Dropping dip is a good choice because of all the harmful things that it does to your body.

Dip causes bad breath and no one likes to smell bad breath when you are about to kiss them. It causes high cholesterol, high pulse rate, high blood pressure, and heart disease that cause heart attacks. Dip causes cancer of the cheek gums, and inner surface of the lips.  It also causes white patches and red sores in your mouth. 

The Great American Spit Out is taking place this month on February 22, 2018. Every year on the third Thursday of the month we encourage people to Drop the Dip. This day gives you the opportunity to quit with no pressure.  It helps you boost your confidence in yourself to quit fully. If you are taking part in this special holiday of Drop the Dip for a day go ahead and take a selfie with #TheGreatAmericanSpitOut to show the pride you have in taking that step to become a better you.

Since chewing tobacco has such a high amount of nicotine a help to quit would be switching to something with less nicotine, such as nicotine gum, and work your way down to completely quitting. Another way of quitting would be chewing on something else besides chewing tobacco such as regular gum.

For more information call 1(800) 784-5669 or check out  All of these services are free! This website helps you get one step closer to that perfect smile to show in that selfie. Because who likes to look on Snapchat and see that the yellow, black, toothless smile without a filter!

Set a reminder on your phone to Drop the Dip and have a great start for your future health and selfies. Make that good choice to get the health and healthy smile you deserve.

Drop the Dip and set your Quit Date for February 22nd - The Great American Spit Out!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


Connections Matter Training: Brain – Relationships – Community
Hosted by the Children’s Mental Health and Wellness Collaborative

WHAT IS CONNECTIONS MATTER? Connections Matter is designed to engage community members in building caring connections to improve resiliency in community members, especially children. The Connections Matter initiative is a collaboration with Prevent Child Abuse Iowa.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND? Parents, Community Members, Childcare/Family Support Professionals, Non-Profit Professionals, Medical/Human Services Providers, Faith Organizations. 
WHY ATTEND THE TRAINING? Interactive, discussion-based curriculum and better understanding of trauma, brain development, resilience, and health. Concrete knowledge about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Action planning and next steps for how you can make a difference. Resources on trauma-informed care and implementation. Strategies for increasing and improving your own connections and tools for strengthening both personal and community resilience. Meeting other community members and building your network.  Building community starts one relationship at a time. 
WHEN: February 21, 2018 from 5:00-7:00 pm
WHERE: VBCH Community Services Center, Keosauqua

CONTACT/Registration: Julie Dalrymple at

Thursday, February 1, 2018

“Impairment of Young Minds” Iowa AC4C goes to Iowa Capitol for Substance Abuse Prevention Day on the Hill

On Wednesday, February 21st, the Alliance of Coalitions for Change (AC4C), a state-wide collaboration to effect positive change in substance abuse, will be meeting with the state legislators to discuss their concerns about youth marijuana use and substance use in Iowa along with education on increasing the beer excise tax in Iowa.

Van Buren County Youth Leadership Council Members will be among the several community coalitions, representing a mixture of Iowa’s rural and urban populations at this event.

Iowa has a low rate of marijuana use when compared to the national average.  However, the perception of harm among youth is declining.  A lower perception of harm historically shows us that there will be a rise in use.

The 2016 Iowa Youth Survey showed 10% of 11th graders in Iowa and 8% of 11th graders in Van Buren County reporting marijuana use in the past 30 days.  41% of 11th graders in Iowa and 35% of 11th graders in Van Buren County believe there is a slight risk or no risk in harming themselves if they use marijuana once a week.  In states with policy expansion of marijuana, youth use rose as perception of risk decreased. 

For 32 years Iowa’s beer tax has remained at LESS THAN $.02 per drink. In Iowa, excessive alcohol use including binge drinking cost $1.9 billion or $1.59 per drink in problems associated with binge drinking in 2010 (CDC, 2016). Alcohol is the most commonly used substance in Iowa and binge drinking is a common form of alcohol consumption. It is a serious public health concern!

Young adults aged 25-34 years of age are most likely to binge drink, followed by those aged 18-24 and 35-44 years old (IDPH). In 2015, 20% of adult Iowans (over 400,000 people) engaged in binge drinking (BRFSS). In 2015, Iowa ranked 5th in th nation for percentage of adults who binge drink (CDC, 2016). According to the 2016 Iowa Youth Survey, 13% of Iowa 11th graders and 17% of Van Buren County 11th graders have binge drank in the last 30 days.

It is important for the health of Iowans to keep drug use at a low rate.

The AC4C press conference will be held in the East Hall of the 1st floor rotunda from 12:30 to 1:00 PM on February 21, 2018. Media, legislators and the public are encouraged to attend.

For further information on this event or Substance Abuse Prevention efforts in Iowa and Van Buren County, please contact the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition at 319-293-3334 ext. 1017 or or Jennifer Husmann, AC4C Representative, at or            319-721-4463