WVU’s new prevention program aims to support at-risk youth through critical development years


Analysis exhibits prevention packages are efficient at lowering threat of substance use and dependancy, and the prevalence of drug use will increase quickly throughout adolescence and the transition to younger maturity. To assist this inhabitants by way of these essential growth years, West Virginia College has launched Regional Transition Navigator companies.

Below the steerage of Lesley Cottrell, director of the Middle for Excellence in Disabilities and professor within the Faculties of Medication and Public Well being, this system is funded by a $432,000 award from the Substance Abuse and Psychological Well being Providers Administration by way of the West Virginia Division of Well being and Human Sources.

The brand new program is designed to attach West Virginia’s youth and younger adults, ages 14-25, who’re experiencing, have skilled or are liable to experiencing severe emotional disturbance, psychological sickness and/or substance use problems with wanted assets. Presently, an emphasis is positioned on these experiencing homelessness, getting older out of foster care or juvenile detention, or in danger for human trafficking.

There are numerous organic and environmental components that may result in drug use, however no single issue can predict whether or not a person will turn out to be addicted.

Habit is an equal alternative opponent. Lives are lived not in blacks and whites, however in shades of grey. Our long-term desired outcomes are to assist people into higher conditions than those they’re presently in, it doesn’t matter what that scenario is perhaps.”

Sam Wilkinson, program supervisor

Wilkinson is one among six navigators throughout the state in areas together with Barboursville, Martinsburg, Morgantown, Mount Hope and Oak Hill. The group works with contributors of their communities to establish wants, assess expertise ranges and develop a community of assist and companies to enhance their well being outcomes as they acquire independence and transition into maturity.

“This system goals to be as malleable as potential when working with its shoppers,” Wilkinson defined. “What works for one shopper won’t essentially work for an additional, and our purpose is maximized flexibility that enables us to answer particular person wants. In consequence, response is tailor-made on a case-by-case, or maybe extra precisely, a situation-by-situation foundation. Our purpose is working to resolve the rapid challenges as a part of a longer-term technique of educating problem-solving expertise helpful all through one’s life.”

Regional Transition Navigator group members will join contributors with assets for housing, transportation, utilities, meals, violence prevention and assist, schooling, well being care, remedy, communication expertise to advocate for themselves, life expertise and figuring out who to contact for assist relying on their particular person circumstance.

To enroll, people could be referred to this system by anybody – together with themselves.

“We depend on those that have an consciousness and information of their very own communities – well being care professionals, front-line staffers, social employees, counselors, lecturers, coaches – and our companions all through the state,” Wilkinson stated. “We’ve got enrolled roughly 30 contributors and wish to join with extra.

“Reaching youthful people can function an intervention earlier than decision-making calcifies into bone-deep habits,” Wilkinson stated. “We need to do supportive work that helps people select more healthy paths. Via the supply of direct, personalised connection, we’re hopeful to learn each them and their communities.”

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