LCAHY Recognizes THY for Promoting Positive Teen Health Year-Round & During COVID-19

October 5th, 2020

The LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY) applauded Teens for Healthy Youth (THY) for their leadership, community service, peer to peer education, advocacy, and positive youth development during a virtual LCAHY Board meeting.   LCAHY’s Chair, Wendy Cummings, acknowledged the youths’ determination to promote positive youth health even during the challenging times of COVID-19 and encouraged the youth to continue their efforts during the school year.  THY representatives from each of the five area schools including Bluffton High School, Hilton Head Christian Academy, Hilton Head High School, Hilton Head Prep, and May River High School, participated in the Zoom meeting and showcased their peer to peer education projects implemented during SAMSHA’s National Prevention Week May 2020.   In a video message, Kylie Nelson, a youth representative on the LCAHY Board and President of THY at May River, encouraged the LCAHY Board and community members to learn more about THY’s year-long efforts by reading LCAHY’s e-news alert at https://mailchi.mp/f27dd8eae9be/thy-promote-positive-teen-health-year-round-during-covid-19.  To learn more about THY visit LCAHY’s website at http://www.lcahealthyyouth.com/youth-coalition/.

THY Leader Develops Infographics to Discourage Impaired Driving

2018

In 2018, Adelynn Helms, President of Teens for Healthy Youth (THY) at Bluffton High and youth representative on the LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth Board, created two infographics to discourage drunk, drugged, and distracted driving during the Winter Holiday Season and Summer Break.  These infographics were featured in local newspapers and magazines. The holiday message was also attached to candy canes and passed out by Teens for Healthy Youth Members to shoppers at Tanger Outlet and to students at Bluffton High School.  This message is especially important in South Carolina which ranks third in the nation for drunk driving.   Annually, LCAHY updates its Winter and Summer Impaired Driving Campaign and continues to educate the community on the risks posed by drunk, drugged, and distracted driving through local media, e-news alerts, and the coalition website. This is significant because the coalition was formed in response to numerous alcohol-related tragedies involving youth in the communities of Bluffton and Hilton Head Island. To learn more visit LCAHY’s website at http://lcahealthyyouth.com/news/success-stories/3d-holiday-campaign/ or https://mailchi.mp/d6ead5fa35a8/l

3D Holiday Driving Impaired Message Designed by Adelyn Helms 2018.

LCAHY Summer Impaired Driving Campaign Message Designed in 2018 by Adelyn Helms, THY President Bluffton High School.

LCAHY Board Member Presents “The Opioid Crisis: Its Impact Across the Lifespan”

Summer 2019

Dr. Loretta Novince, a developmental psychologist and LCAHY’s consultant, presented a workshop for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB). She provided an overview of who the vulnerable populations are across the lifespan and why they are at risk. She stated that the Opioid Crisis threatens the well-being of Americans at every age, socioeconomic level, race/ethnicity, and in every neighborhood.  Dr. Marty Pauls, a local dentist and LCAHY Board Member, spoke about how he lost his young adult son to opioid addiction that began in adolescence.  During the workshop, attention was given to the opioid crisis in SC/Beaufort County, and what plans are in place statewide and locally to combat the epidemic. Dr. Novice encouraged the participants to be part of the solution, provided the LCAHY Rx Fact Card, and directed the participants to LCAHY’s website for more information http://www.lcahealthyyouth.com/proper-medication-disposal/. Dr. Novice has presented on this topic several times including for Beaufort County Public Libraries Podcast series.

WTOC Highlights LCAHY’s Community Forum on the Opioid Crisis

January 30th, 2018

WTOC highlighted the LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth’s (LCAHY) Community Forum on the Opioid Epidemic.  The intent of the forum was to educate individuals on the facts of the opioid public health crisis and encourage them to act by properly disposing of prescription medication.  SC Representative Shannon Erickson gave an overview of the House’s Opioid Epidemic Committee’s eight-month study results.   The Beaufort County Coroner presented and shared that 42,000 people overdosed on opioids in the United States in 2016, and 616 of those deaths were in South Carolina. Dr. Ravi Srivastava, a psychiatrist, and addiction specialist addressed the dangers of opioids misuse.  LCAHY board member and psychologist, Dr. Lynn Geiger, stated that teens are susceptible to addiction because of their developing brains.  In addition, LCAHY’s youth coalition, Teens for Healthy Youth (THY), addressed each community sector and the role they could play in preventing misuse of prescription drugs.  Adelyn Helms, THY President at Bluffton High, expressed the importance of talking to youth about the crisis and educating the community.  To read more about LCAHY’s Community Forum and the opioid problem, see https://www.wtoc.com/story/37378441/study-results-released-as-lowcountry-battles-opioid-epidemic/.  For a list of local medicine drop box locations and more information about opioid misuse, visit http://www.lcahealthyyouth.com/.

LCAHY Board Members Create & Display Stop Underage Drinking Signage at Local Businesses

July 14, 2020

LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY) Business Sector Board Member, Mary Lou Hubbard, created signage to inform consumers of underage drinking laws and discourage individuals from supplying alcohol to minors.  The window clings declare, “We know the law.  Do you?”, “No ID=No Sale”, and “Stop Underage Drinking”.  The signage is displayed in the Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store and Frost Frog Restaurant in Coligny Plaza in Hilton Head Island.  See picture below of Piggly Wiggly and Frosty Frog owners.  LCAHY plans to distribute more window clings to businesses in hot spot locations to discourage community members and tourists from purchasing alcohol for minors.  The initiative is being spearheaded by David Martin, owner of Piggly Wiggly and longtime business representative on the LCAHY board.  This is part of LCAHY’s goal to decrease youth access to alcohol.  Now more than ever, signage is important as medical experts agree that stress related to COVID-19 experiences can lead to an increased use of alcohol as a coping mechanism among youth.  In addition, alcohol use can suppress the immune system leaving an individual more susceptible to COVID-19.  For information about COVID-19 resources, visit http://www.lcahealthyyouth.com/https-www-lcahealthyyouth-com-resources-covid-19-resources/.

LCAHY Provides Medication Disposal Box to Bluffton Police Department

January 6th, 2020

LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY), a recipient of a Drug-Free Communities Grant, provided a medication disposal box to the South Carolina Bluffton Police Department.  The Bluffton Police Department, an agency represented on the LCAHY Coalition Board, is working with the coalition to reduce access to prescription medication and combat the opioid crisis.  WJCL made the community aware of the new dropbox during their State of Addiction News Report.  See the news report using the link below.  In the interview, Captain Babkiewicz of the Bluffton Police Department pointed out that properly disposing medication is an effective way to keep youth from accessing and experimenting with prescription medications.  Community members can now conveniently dispose of their unused prescription and over-the-counter medications in multiple locations in Bluffton.  LCAHY hopes this will encourage community members to properly dispose of unused prescription and over-the-counter medications year-round.

https://www.wjcl.com/article/new-year-clean-out-you-can-now-drop-off-unused-prescriptions-at-the-bluffton-police-department/30422094

Students Attend LCAHY & THY School Assemblies to Learn About the Dangers of E-cigarettes and Vaping

April 3rd and 4th, 2019

LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY) invited Reston Hartsell, a member of the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, to present at two community forums and two school assemblies (Bluffton High and Hilton Head Christian Academy) on the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping.  Teens for Healthy Youth (THY), an initiative of LCAHY, hope that the information presented during the assemblies by Hartsell will encourage their peers to not vape and make informed and healthy decisions. THY Bluffton President, Grey Ann Cummings, pointed out that the long-term effects of these products have not been studied and more research needs to be done.  Audrey Weidner, a member of Bluffton THY, reported that her peers were surprised to learn that vaping products contain harmful chemicals and are more potent than students realize.  LCAHY and THY hopes that informing students and community members of the dangers of vaping can curb the sharp increase of youth use of vaping products.

LCAHY and THY present to Hilton Head/Bluffton Chamber’s Business Education Partnership Committee

December 3, 2019

LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth Chair (LCAHY), Wendy Cummings, and Teens for Healthy Youth (THY) representative from Hilton Head Christian Academy, Brielle McCarthy, shared LCAHY and THY’s vision and recent projects to Hilton Head/Bluffton Chamber’s Business Education Partnership Committee.  They stressed how important community involvement is to the success of LCAHY and THY’s mission.  The committee agreed to support the coalition’s efforts and would like LCAHY members to return to give a formal presentation in the future.  LCAHY hopes this will further provide an opportunity to create an awareness about LCAHY and THY.

May River High THY Encourages Their Peers to Make Positive Choices Over Winter Break

December 13, 2019

Teens for Healthy Youth at May River High School greeted students with a candy cane and a message before winter break. While the candy canes were a nice treat the students enjoyed, it was more about the message tied around each. The notes included messages of safety, health, and making positive choices during Christmas Break. The messages include sayings like, “Make the right choice over the break.”, “Don’t drive distracted while on break.”, “Stay healthy over the break.”, and “Have fun over break, but be smart”. In addition to handing out the treats, each of the Teens for Healthy Youth students were able to engage with other students about THY and what the club does throughout the school year.

LCAHY Consultant Voices Concerns on SNL Skit that Features Youth Drinking

June 3, 2020

Dr. Loretta Novince, a psychologist and consultant for the LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY), wrote an editorial as a contributor to the Hilton Head and Bluffton Sun News voicing concerns about NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” skit that featured youth of all ages drinking. The skit repeated the words “let kids drink” and suggested that alcohol could be used to help individuals cope with the stress of COVID-19.  Dr. Novince pointed out that this message was very misleading and harmful.  In fact, drinking alcohol to cope with stress can lead to or worsen existing mental health problems and increase the risk for alcohol use disorder.  The risk for young people is even greater because it can contribute to a range of adverse consequences, including interfering with and impairing brain development. Dr. Novince also noted that promotion of alcohol in the media is very harmful to youth because it can increase positive expectancies about alcohol, leading to influencing their attitudes and behaviors.  Furthermore, she made it clear that health experts report that alcohol use can reduce one’s ability to fight disease and make one more susceptible to developing COVID-19. LCAHY’s consultant urged the community to support LCAHY’s public health campaign to be part of the solution:  Send clear messages to our children about the dangers of youth drinking, tobacco, and illicit drug use.  Dr. Novince encouraged the community to visit www.lcahealthyyouth.com  for information for healthy ways to cope with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The full editorial can be viewed at http://www.blufftonsun.com/tv-skit-promoting-youth-drinking-sends-wrong-message-cms-5417 and http://www.blufftonsun.com/letters-to-the-editor-cms-5419.

Youth Drinking and Drug Use are Unsafe Unhealthy and Illegal