On June 6th, 40 local parents from across the four partner schools in the county attended our Parent Seminar and were given a variety of information and support from local care service providers.
Mentor Foundation USA partnered with the Columbia County Department of Health, Greener Pathways of Columbia & Greene County, and the Center for Motivation and Change to host an informative training to educate parents on the signs of adolescent drug use, what drugs are in the community, how to communicate with young people around risky behaviors, and what resources are available to help young people who are currently using drugs or alcohol.
The parents got to hear from Carl and Laurie Quinn of Greener Pathways of Columbia & Greene County. Greener Pathways of Columbia & Greene County is a community-based outreach program committed to building connections and pathways to strategies and solutions for the substance use disorder (SUD) crisis in Greene County & Columbia County. Their goal is to move individuals out of active drug-using culture into a new culture of recovery. Mr. and Mrs. Quinn spoke about their own experience as parents of two sons who are both recovering addicts and what resources they found most helpful. Parents in the audience were able to ask questions and received more information to take home to learn about supportive agencies and organizations in the area.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Jeff Foote who is a Clinical Research Scientist with the Center for Motivation and Change. The Center is a group of dedicated psychologists, clinicians and researchers, who have been writing books and articles, developing groundbreaking treatments,
conducting research studies, creating training programs, and leading community outreach efforts for years. Their goal is to foster better, more effective and more respectful treatment for people struggling with substance use disorder, as well as provide support for families suffering. Dr. Foote spoke to the audience of parents about the language of addiction and recovery and how we can be more loving and supportive in our interactions with our loved ones without enabling them. Dr. Foote also educated parents on what they can do to aid their loved one(s) into a safe and healthy space to be receptive of treatment, and what not to do to scare them away from seeking help.
Prior to attending the seminar, parents were on average 63% confident in their level of knowledge on prevention and resources for young people currently impacted by substance use disorder. At the end of the seminar, after hearing all three speakers, parents on average were 93% confident, which speaks to the quality of speakers at the event and the materials given to the parents in attendance.
Mentor also provided attendees with a parent guide booklet that has information about what drugs are on the streets, what they look like, and what street names they are associated with. The booklet also includes information for parents regarding how to communicate with young people, what resources are available in each state, and other helpful information to educate and prepare parents to have productive conversations with their children about substance use. In addition, the attendees received a toolkit on SBIRT in effort to expose them to an effective clinical screening process for youth who may be using drugs.