Under contract with several St. Lawrence County school districts (Gouverneur, Hermon-DeKalb, Edwards-Knox, Lisbon, Brasher Falls, Norwood-Norfolk, and Clifton-Fine), the Council provides universal elementary grade level prevention education services. The most commonly used programs for these services are “Too Good for Violence” and “Too Good for Drugs”. These research based programs address a wide range of youth antisocial behaviors in students including bullying and verbal aggression. “Too Good for Violence” and “Too Good for Drugs” place an emphasis on enlisting the support of bystanders, changing violent norms, teaching social skills, and building communications and partnerships between adults and youth.
The Student Assistance/Project SUCCESS Program (SAP/PS) was implemented in Clifton Fine Central School in 2014. The Student Assistance Program has transitioned to the SAMHSA model program Project SUCCESS. Project SUCCESS (Schools Using Coordinated Community Efforts to Strengthen Students) prevents and reduces substance use among high-risk, multi-problem students. Developed and tested with alternative school youth 14 to 18 years of age, the program places Community Prevention Specialists in area schools to provide a full range of substance use prevention and early intervention services. Counselors use a variety of intervention strategies, including:
- Information dissemination
- Normative and preventative education
- Counseling and skills training
- Problem identification and referral
- Community-based processes
- Environmental approaches
In addition, Project SUCCESS links the school to the community’s continuum of care when necessary, referring both students and families to the human services organizations, including substance abuse treatment agencies.
This year, the Seaway Valley Prevention Council and Pivot continued the partnership to offer employee assistance services to St. Lawrence County. The mission of Pivot Employee Assistance Program is to provide confidential accessible services to employees, family members, and businesses in order to restore and strengthen health and productivity in the workplace. Employees and their household members may use the Pivot Employee Assistance Program to help manage issues that could adversely impact their work and personal lives. Pivot Employee Assistance Program counselors typically provide assessment, support, and if needed, referral to additional resources. The Pivot Employee Assistance Program offers many training opportunities for employees. Trainings include such things as, Lunch and Learns, human resource trainings, and Pivot Employee Assistance Program orientations for new employees.
The issues for which the Pivot Employee Assistance Program provide support vary, but examples include:
- Concerns about aging parents
- Relationship Issues
- Alcohol/Substance Abuse
- Major Life Events
- Emotional Distress
- Safe Working Environment
- Health Care Concerns
- Family and Personal Concerns
- Depression and Anxiety Challenges
- Aging Issues
- Stress and Emotional Issues
- Conflict in the Workplace
- Parenting Challenges
Gouverneur Family Resource Center:
Services offered at the Family Resource Center include a drop- in center complete with a lending library consisting of resources and materials and an educational play area designed for positive parent/ child interaction and reading corner where parents can spend “quality time” together. Educational activities and programming also take place at the center. Programming includes child development, nutrition, budgeting, job readiness, The Incredible Years Program, and other identified needs.
Based on the Family Support America guiding principles, the following starting principles are implemented into the Gouverneur Family Resource Center:
- Staff and families will work together in relationships based on equality and respect.
- Staff enhances families’ capacity to support the growth and development of all family members-adults, youth and children.
- Families are resources to their own members, to other families, to programs, and to their communities.
- Programs affirm and strengthen families’ identities and enhance their ability to function in a multicultural society.
- Programs advocate with families for services and systems that are fair, responsive and accountable to the families served.
- Staff works with families to mobilize formal and informal resources to support family development.
- Programs are flexible and continually responsive to emerging family and community issues.
- Principles of family support are modeled in all aspects of the Family Resource Center.
Advancing Tobacco Free Communities combines the Reality Check program (Reality Check is a teen led, adult supported program working across New York State who aims to expose the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry which actively exploits and markets a deadly and addictive product to youth) and with a Community Engagement lead. This grant covers St. Lawrence, Jefferson, and Lewis Counties and focuses on four initiatives, Point of Sale, Smoke Free Media, Smoke Free Multi-Unit Housing, and Tobacco-Free Outdoors. Through community engagement and mobilization of adult advocates in combination with the youth led Reality Check movement, Advancing Tobacco Free Communities strives towards denormalizing tobacco use and through grassroots activities, media campaigns and political education works to produce changes in our communities towards a tobacco-free society.
The Incredible Years Parenting Program is based on the Social Learning Theory. The research shows that behavior is learned and can be changed with knowledge and consistency. One of the main focuses of this program is that in order to change the behavior of our children, we need to change the behavior of the parent also.
The program is offered at flexible hours in a families own community. Sessions are one to one and one half hours long and are attended weekly. Sessions are scheduled for eight to twenty week intervals depending on family need, availability, and willingness to attend. Programs are provided in a group setting and also with individual families.
In 2014, the New York State Council on Problem Gambling (NYCP) partnered with the Seaway Valley Prevention Council on the Parenting Focused Problem Gambling Education Project and the Youth Decide: Media Literacy Project.
In an effort to prevent youth gambling involvement and reduce the risk of youth developing problem gambling, parents of school aged youth will be targeted through public education and awareness efforts. The NYCPG expanded the scope of the gambling efforts through the Youth Decide: Media Literacy Project. The media Literacy Project targeted youth ages 12 -17 years old in an effort to get them to think critically of advertising manipulation.
The Council also participated in the statewide Youth Decide Poster Contest. Out of the three posters that went to the statewide competition, one poster won BEST IN SHOW and another poster won CLEAREST MESSAGE.
Cultivating Healthy Communities: A Coalition of St. Lawrence County strives to build partnerships and promote collaborations which sustain a healthy, supportive community. The Coalition’s vision is that youth in St. Lawrence County will be supported by a united community that fosters positive growth and development. In 2011, Cultivating Healthy Communities was awarded a Strategic Prevention Framework, State Incentive Grant (SPF-SIG) titled Prevention First-NY! that aimed to reduce underage drinking, particularly in six target communities; Massena, Norwood-Norfolk, Lisbon, Morristown, Edwards-Knox, and Colton-Pierrepont. For this grant project, Cultivating Healthy Communities partnered with Seaway Valley Prevention Council, with the council being the fiscal agent for the project. The SPF-SIG grant was awarded a six month extension, and the project was completed on December 31, 2014.
The Massena Drug Free Community Coalition was awarded a five-year $625,000 federal Drug Free Communities grant. Seaway Valley Prevention Council is the fiscal agent for the project. This project aims to reduce marijuana and prescription drug use among youth in Massena.