STAY coNectd

Alcohol Awareness Week for Maine Teens

The Maine Department of Education has identified the week of December 6th as Alcohol Awareness Week.  Schools around the state will be taking initiatives to educate students on the risks of alcohol and other drugs.

In one school system the freshman and sophomores will be viewing a movie titled Dying High:  Teens in the E.R.  This moving video demonstrates the consequences of risky behaviors related to drinking.  It shows examples of what takes place in an emergency room when a person has been admitted due to an accident or potential overdose.  It also has individuals sharing their personal experiences after making poor decisions.  After the completion of the movie, students will participate in an activity that will help demonstrate how an individual could be impacted by a person’s drinking.

The following week, juniors and seniors will have an opportunity to hear from individuals who are on their own journey to recovery.  Individuals from a residential program will be sharing their own stories about how they got involved with substance use and where they are now in the recovery process. 

Stay CoNectd encourages all of you to check in with the teens in your lives and have a frank discussion about Alcohol Awareness week.  Knowing that schools are taking initiatives can be a great way to start that conversation.  It’s usually a small conversation that will be the building block to a greater solution to this teen problem.  We would love to hear from you about any ideas you can share.

For more information you can visit the Maine Department of Education website specifically for Alcohol Awareness week at


Hi!  We have pulled together a short list of resources for youth, parents, adults and communities to use and/or direct people too who are looking for more information on substance use.  Feel free to add your own.


Office of Substance Abuse, Department of Health and Human Services


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center

Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

The FACE project

Join Together

Rethinking Drinking

Drug Free Action Alliance

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America


Add Nothing

Above the Influence

The Cool Spot

Maine Youth Action Network

Unleash Your C

Students Against Destructive Decisions


How can you STAY CoNectd for youth?

Based on feedback from our 4/12 World Cafe in Portland, folks shared with us that were looking for some tangible activities to do to STAY CoNectd for/with YOUTH.  We will be providing these types of tips/activities on this blog on a monthly basis and look forward to YOUR COMMENTS and for folks to TELL US what they’ve done to STAY CoNectd – your ideas here might help spark ideas for someone else so please do share!  We look forward to continuing the meaningful dialogue that took place on 4/12.  As always, if you have any questions, you can post here or email us at

Are you a parent/relative/caring adult?

  • Give each of your kids a hug today, even if they are really big kids.
  • At the dinner table, ask, “What is your family thankful for today?”  then make  ‘appreciation’ cards for loved ones and share them at the dinner table.
  • Be willing to talk during times that are comfortable for your children, such as riding or driving or on a walk.  Sometimes not having eye contact can make the conversation flow better.

Are you a neighbor?

  • If you have a young adult as a neighbor, you should learn that person’s name and use it every time you see him/her.  Adding on to the name idea, always making an effort to acknowledge him/her and spark up conversation. Ask Questions!
  • Offer to let a young person assist you in something you enjoy and that he/she may be interested in.  This could be working on a car, working on a motorcycle, walking your dog, gardening, building something.  You could frame it as asking them for their help.
  • Offer a young person a small job, such as yard work to earn a bit of money, affording you an opportunity to learn more about him/her.

Want to help encourage young people find their voice?

  • Encourage a teen or young adult to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about issues that are important to him/her.
  • Introduce a teen or young adult to www.navigatingtherealworld.orgNavigating the Real World, Inc. (NtRW) helps people in their teens and 20s deal with important life decisions and challenging circumstances.  NtRW does this by bringing them the perspectives of people with recent, relevant experience directly related to their personal priorities and prospective future paths. . NtRW is a Maine nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.
  • When meeting young workers at a grocery store, restaurant, department store greet them in a friendly manner and compliment them on something that you notice (good work, unusual hairstyle).

Build community relationships and be a resource!

  • Offer to mentor a teen from your community who is interested in exploring a career similar to your own. Help that person better understand your field and make educational plans.
  • Hold a neighborhood celebration on the first or last day of the school year. Invite kids, parents, teachers, and neighbors to join in.
  • Join a teen in a community service project:  You get the benefit of getting to know the teen and modeling investment in the community.

Thank You!

"Grow the Movement: STAY CoNectd"

Thank you very much for your participation/interest in the STAY CoNectd World Café.  Your energy, passion and commitment to these important issues was empowering and uplifting.

Even if you were not able to attend, as we would still love for you to be part of this movement of youth, adults and organizations who are committed to the success of all Maine teens and young adults by striving to improve mental health and substance abuse prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery and related services.

View pictures from the 4/12 World Cafe here:

We did not have a chance to discuss next steps as we ran out of time, but we do want to capture your thoughts and ideas. If you attended the World Cafe we are hoping you will fill out this short 4 question survey to give us your suggestions for next steps for the STAY CoNectd movement, as well as feedback on Monday’s event specifically. Please click this link to provide your feedback

As we mentioned at the event, we will be posting insights and themes from the World Cafe conversations, as well as other updates and information about the STAY CoNectd movement, on our Blog. We hope you will check in with this site periodically so we can all stay connected (pun intended!) moving forward.

Each person has something to contribute to this movement, and there are many ways, informal and formal, to be involved.

If you would like more information about the STAY CoNectd movement, including how to participate on a coordinating council, please email Michele Hylen at

Thank you again for the time and energy you give to support Maine youth and young adults to thrive!

The STAY CoNectd World Café Planning Team

Today is the Day!

Our creative planning has taken shape and we are just hours away from our historical event! We are so thrilled that this event has come together in ways we aren’t sure we imagined.  It will be thrilling for us to post updates of the World Cafe event afterward and continue the forward-thinking this movement will allow us to do!

We have over 60 confirmed guests from several different community sectors.  Representatives are from these different (and equally important) community groups: Medical, youth, business, media, government, public health, faith, law enforcement, judicial, schools, parents, senior citizens, minority/refugee/immigrant, service organizations and the military.  Can you even imagine the dialogue that can potentially take place in a room full of folks representing their particular community!

Again, thank you for your interest – we will certainly be posting after the event so we can make sure we STAY CoNectd!

STAY CoNectd Flyer

Here is the flyer for our 4/12 event.  If you have ANY questions about the invite-only event, please contact Melissa Boyd at or call (207) 621-8118.

World Cafe coming your way!

What is The World Cafe?

On April 12, 2010 STAY CoNectd and community partners will be hosting a World Cafe in Portland to get the community involved in an engaging (and ongoing) discussion about what’s important to us about substance abuse and mental health prevention, treatment and recovery for youth and young adults..

If this sounds like something you’d like to get involved with, please contact us at we’d love to hear from you!

STAY CoNectd for Youth in Maine!

STAY CoNectd Vision: STAY CoNectd envisions a culture and climate in Maine where all teens and young adults thrive.

STAY CoNectd Mission: STAY CoNectd is a diverse group of people who are committed to the success of all Maine teens and young adults by striving to improve mental health and substance abuse prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery and related services.

Social Marketing Sub-Committee Purpose: To help create linkages that will connect teens, young adults, and the people who support them through existing and new social media marketing venues.

Who We Are: Maine Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse (MAPSA), AdCare/Youth Empowerment and Policy Project (YEPP), City of Portland Public Health Division’s  (HHSD) Substance Abuse Prevention Program, Day One/Maine Juvenile Treatment Network (JTN), and other active community members.