The “We Are Not Alone” Tour:
RISE TOGETHER x SAFE Project
RISE TOGETHER has partnered with SAFE Project to elevate our common mission: prioritizing and advancing substance use prevention and promoting positive mental health for our youth.
HOW WE DO IT
EDUCATING THROUGH STORYTELLING – Empowering youth is the key to breaking the silence and fostering life-fueling connections within our schools and communities. By educating and engaging them, we can equip them with the necessary tools to become part of the solution in addressing challenges associated with substance use and mental health. Encouraging them to use their stories and voices to create awareness and promote a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their peers is essential.
A CERTIFIED PEER TRAINING program that is a unique and comprehensive approach to wellness coaching focused on three key areas: advocacy leadership, peer coaching, and community education. By targeting these critical elements, youth and staff can work together to positively transform the culture of our school systems. Aspiring coaches can earn their official CCAR certification through a rigorous training program consisting of three days of live in-person or virtual sessions, supplemented by two additional days of online coursework. This program fully equips you with the tools, resources, and support you need to succeed.
STUDENT-LED INITIATIVES prioritizing the foundational principles of gratitude, community, and self-care. These change projects aim to create a cultural shift in schools by engaging young leaders in evidence-based strategies that combat the adverse effects of stigma and perpetuate healthy choices. RISEyouth will strengthen their leadership skills, promote positive mental health, and reduce stigma among their peers by learning to raise awareness, share their stories, and positively impact their community while developing essential skills that will benefit them for a lifetime.
ADULT ADOVCACY TRAINING designed for youth-serving organizations, teachers, and educators looking to create safe and courageous spaces for youth to strive. This 5 module training course aims to equip professionals with the tools to confidently facilitate conversations around substance use disorders, mental health, and personal empowerment. With a focus on using storytelling to build connectivity and reduce stigma around sensitive social issues, we will help develop trusting relationships with the youth they serve and empower them to implement youth-led projects.
Adolescent Substance Use: A Mixed Methods Assessment
Early adolescent initiation of substance use is a risk factor for progression to more substantial use and misuse later in life. Objectives were to to provide the scope of adolescent substance use and describe the impact of RISE TOGETHER.
Quantitative and qualitative data for the current study came from a cross-sectional web-based survey, conducted by RT. Data was collected from 2014 – 2020. Middle and high school students. Across 53 counties in Wisconsin.
BY PENN STATE COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
Kenneth W. Verbos II, MD, MPH, MSc1; Alma Jusufagic, MPH1; Anthony Alvarado BS2; Aleksandra E. Zgierska, MD, PhD1,3
Substance Use and Mental Health Among Middle- and High-Schoolers: A Survey Study
Adolescent substance use is a major
public health concern. Pandemics are associated with rises in depression, anxiety, and high-risk behaviors, increasing urgency for solutions to address this public health issue.
The objectives of this study were
1) To compare substance use among middle and high schoolers and
2) To describe the relationship between mental health concerns and substance use in these populations.
BY PENN STATE COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
Alma Jusufagic, MPH1; Arjola Agolli, MD, MBA2; Kenneth W. Verbos II, MD, MPH, MSc3,4; Anthony Alvarado, BS5; Aleksandra Zgierska, MD, PhD2,6
IMPLICATIONS OF ADULT STAKEHOLDERS IN A PEER-TO-PEER MODEL
This research analyzes the major roles an adult stakeholder plays in a peer-to-peer group by empowering youth in a model based on mental wellness and youth coaching. Fifteen students were originally chosen for this study. The researcher uses a triangulation mixed methodology of surveys, semi structured interviews, and observational anecdotes in a research journal to define three major roles played by adult stakeholders. Through a partnership with an outside organization, Rise Together, the three major roles emerge as creator/maintainer of the group dynamic, processing information with individual peer coaches, and providing skills to the peer coaches. Challenges presented themselves in the ability to keep youth together from varying backgrounds. The researcher found that youth held solutions and formed a partnership between peer coaches and the author to solve interpersonal issues. These adult roles were found to have significance and lend further study to the ideas of peer-to-peer models through the study of emotional intelligence, peer coach outcomes, and direct impacts the roles have on student behaviors.
By Jake Larsh, University Wisconsin Oshkosh
The night of the presentation, I had planned to commit suicide. After the presentation, I no longer wanted or felt the need to. Listening to other people’s stories and their recovery made a huge impact on me. Since other people can make it through, I know I can too.
-High School Student
I thought that all of your stories were so inspirational. I like how you weren’t just saying “drugs are bad, don’t do them.” You told your story and how you were able to change your lives.
-High School Student