Bennington, VT – United Counseling Service (UCS) is excited to announce the formation of a new Youth Community Action Team (YCAT) to raise awareness of community issues by developing youth and community partnerships. The team is excited to host its first event of their community awareness plan, a Substance Abuse Awareness Forum on Thursday, June 25, 2015 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the River Street Fire House.
“The youth feel that by continuing to address substance use and abuse issues we can help raise awareness and education to alleviate concerns and make a difference,” said UCS YCAT program organizer Erika Crowers.
YCAT developed out of a community organizing workshop at the Youth Summit of Bennington in February. The group is supported by UCS and received a grant from Southern Vermont College that supports the efforts of the awareness campaign.
The theme of the YCAT community action plan is substance abuse awareness, concentrating on prescription drugs and opioids, with an educational component on the safe storage and proper disposal of prescription medications. Statistics show that nearly 70% of people ages 12 or older who abused prescription pain relievers got them from friends or relatives.
The forum will begin with information being shared by some of the youth involved with YCAT, and the panel will include local experts on substance abuse treatment such as Paul DiIonno, the Manager of Substance Abuse Services at UCS, and Dr. Nels Kloster, MD. Attendees of the forum will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A or share stories about substance abuse issues in the community.
If you have any questions in regards to the forum please contact Erika Crowers at ECrowers@UCSVT.org or 802-442-5491 ext. 504.