The Sanpete Behavioral Community Health Network has created a subcommittee that focuses on children and adolescents in Sanpete County. Sanpete County C.A.R.E.S. (Children, Adolescents, Resources Enhancement and Services), is an organization of committed volunteers passionate about helping bridge the gap in mental health services for the youth in the community.
The committee is comprised of various partners in the community such as Sanpete Valley Hospital outreach staff and clinicians, school leaders and counselors, Snow College students and staff, local mental health therapists, as well as individuals from the Children’s Justice Center. This committee is dedicated to linking youth and their families to different services and resources.
Sanpete County C.A.R.E.S. holds monthly meetings to assess the needs of the community. By attending several local school community council meetings it was decided that educating the community is the first step to helping the children and adolescents in Sanpete.
One way to educate the community is through monthly articles that are geared towards educating parents, teachers and leaders on how to discuss important topics with youths. These articles will be published in the local paper, be distributed through the schools, and will be posted on our future website. North Sanpete School District also plans to integrate the monthly topics in the classroom. Some future topics include, “How to be a Good Friend” (information related to suicide prevention), “Self-Esteem” and “The Importance of School Attendance”.
According to research collected by the Strengthening Families Program and others, discussing risk factors such as substance use, suicide, emotional abuse, etc. can be a prevention tool. Children and adolescents receive varying messages from peers and media. Having parents and leaders involved can take the shame out of difficult topics and offer a safe place to discuss questions and receive advice. This can be very helpful for our youth as they navigate through different experiences and exposures in life.
Dr. Brene Brown has completed years of research regarding shame. She has found shame isolates individuals and can lead to addiction and other negative consequences. Individuals that enjoy happiness are more connected and believe that they are worth connection. By parents and leaders staying regulated while discussing and taking the shame out important topics, youths can feel more connected and secure. Please look for future monthly articles to discuss with your youth.