Duxbury FACTS | Fall 2018- Spring 2019 Update
From the Executive Board: Sue Bradford, Catherine Cullen, Neal Doherty, and Anne Ward
Duxbury FACTS continues to be a community resource for mental health and alcohol and substance misuse. FACTS works closely with the Duxbury Police Department Crisis Intervention Team, the Duxbury Public Schools, Duxbury Student Union and The Parent Connection to develop effective programs that fulfill our mission. This year, our programs emphasized mental health. FACTS welcomed several students from Duxbury High School to the Steering Committee this year and their input has been valuable. Karen Wong, the founder of Duxbury FACTS in 2015, has stepped down from the executive team but remains involved with FACTS in the community. We thank Karen for her leadership, and we are grateful to our stakeholders and to Pilgrim Church for supporting our mission.
Learn more about the community-wide programs that we have been working on this year:
Conversation Cafe | August
FACTS created an informal, in-person “chat” opportunity for Duxbury students to start a conversation with current college students. Conversations about mental health are becoming more common on college campuses; they are less so in high school. This event was a pilot and FACTS will use learning from this experience to pursue more opportunities for Duxbury students to converse about mental health in a safe, supportive and appropriate space.
Film screening: “If They had Known” | September
This was our second screening of this film for which we purchased a one-year license with the Duxbury schools. The film documents a real-life tragedy involving youth who unwittingly consumed alcohol and Xanax with fatal consequences for one young man. The film aims to raise awareness of the potentially lethal mix of drugs and alcohol and to help youth understand how to respond in this type of emergency situation. The high school had access to the film to show in health classes during the fall semester. Additional screenings were held at the Duxbury Student Union.
Town Meeting 2019 on the Topic of Marijuana Business Coming to Duxbury| October to March
FACTS worked with the Town Planner to raise awareness among voters of articles that would limit zoning of medical marijuana treatment centers in Duxbury. Articles passed successfully.
Mental Health First Aid Training | January & April
FACTS collaborated with the Plymouth County Suicide Prevention Coalition to offer two training sessions in Duxbury. The first session focused on adult mental health and the second focused on youth mental health. A total of nearly 40 people were trained.
Film screening: “Angst” and panel discussion | March
This documentary film was developed to spark conversation about mental health in the community with a focus on youth. The panel included Duxbury High School psychologist Michelle Ryan, DHS grad Ross Kellar and Julie Love, clinical director of the McLean Hospital School Nurse Liaison Program. Turnout was very good for this event and the feedback we’ve received indicates a need for more mental health programs with a focus on action steps for parents and people who work with youth to recognize signs and symptoms and respond appropriately.
Student Scholarship Program | May
Our goal was to raise awareness of FACTS and its mission among DHS students. FACTS implemented a scholarship opportunity for seniors who had in some way contribute to the mission of FACTS. More than 20 students applied for the scholarship with essays. Two students will be awarded $500 scholarships this year.
Community Summit | June
FACTS initiated a meeting of community stakeholders to assess the current state of alcohol and substance misuse and need for mental health resources. The information will be used to develop relevant and effective programs for 2019-2020.
Just the FACTS Support Group | Ongoing
The “Just the FACTS” support group met weekly at the Duxbury Senior Center. This is an open meeting with recovery coaches to provide information and support to individuals and families coping with alcohol or substance issues.