Clay Counts Coalition Received “Prevention Partner of the Year” Award

By Trish Svoboda

At the Clay Counts Coalition meeting held Wednesday, November 8th, Lori Martin, community mobilizer, announced the group received the “Prevention Partner of the Year” award at the Kansas Prevention Council’s state conference in Wichita in October. Clay Center Community High School student, Izzy Blackwood also received the “Prevention Youth Leader of the Year” award.

Lori shared that because of the Gather for Good Day, Clay Counts will receive $2,135 in donations and will be featured in the Clay Center Community Improvement Foundation’s annual newsletter.

The main focus of the meeting was to go over the group’s Community Commitment Night on Tuesday, November 14th at the Rex Theater. Each phase was reviewed, and all details were addressed to finalize plans.

Police Chief Bill Robinson reported that during the coalition’s and police department’s participation in the DEA Drug Take Back Day on October 28th, 25 pounds of outdated medications were collected. It was noted that Patterson’s Pharmacy will serve as a collection site for those who were unable to attend Take Back Day.

Chief Robinson also shared his concerns over the recent suicides and suicide threats in the community. He noted that he often hears one of the root causes is the perception of bullying. This led to a discussion about how schools are addressing this issue through Focus Groups and the potential for bully prevention curriculum resources.

Lastly, according to YLinK reports, each of the four groups has actively participated in prevention initiatives, such as organizing fall-themed Fifth Quarters and Seventh Hours. On October 18th, a Peer-to-Peer Suicide Prevention Training took place. During this training, 16 students from both Wakefield and Clay Center Community High Schools dedicated 8 hours to become members of the Bandana Squad, a group aimed at providing support to their peers who may be struggling with mental health issues.

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