Welcome Back to the Lifeways Newsletter!
Since the retirement in Summer 2021 of Paula Wilkinson Smith, one of our founders and only Executive Director for 18 years, I have been on a whirlwind of learning and working through all those "firsts" as a new director. Our wonderful staff, Board of Directors and community have been so supportive of myself and our Clinical Supervisor, Kelsey Hansen, as we have successfully kept up the incredible momentum of Lifeways services. We are still bouncing back from the challenges created by the Covid 19 Pandemic but have never stopped being laser focused on serving the youth in our community by delivering evidence-based prevention and treatment services by passionate and qualified counselors.
As a result of the busy learning curve this past year, we have not published a newsletter, but are resuming with this issue and will create new content every other month to keep you and the community updated.
I personally appreciate the continued support of our many, many businesses, coalition and community members who have continued to be supportive in not only a financial capacity but have offered your trust and guidance. I intend to honor the vision of Lifeways founding, Paula's incredible leadership and our staff's passion and hard work by continuing our strong partnerships and empowering youth to be substance free.
Michele Brink-Gluhosky, Executive Director
We are incredibly grateful to the following dedicated board members who retired this past year;
Carol Nielson, our Past President,
Jeanne McKenna and Sheila Whitney
2021-2022 CURRENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
(Pictures and Bios coming in August to our website)
Sean Binder, President (2018)
Katy McLaws, Vice President (2019)
Patricia Ploof (2017)
Caitlin Monahan (2021)
Sara Waeckerle (2022)
Kelsey Blair (2022)
If you live in the Rapid City or Custer area, care about the prevention of adolescent substance misuse and substance use disorders, enjoy volunteering and believe Lifeways could benefit from your knowledge, time and experience, please contact Michele at 605-716-6555 or email@example.com
Rapid City Area Schools and Custer Schools have been our instrumental partners in providing evidence-based prevention programming (EBP) in the middle and high schools. Although many of our counselors have done limited outreach to elementary students, we have not had a dedicated staff person delivering universal EBP in the elementary schools. We are so excited to announce that RCAS leadership has given Lifeways the opportunity to expand prevention services to 4th and 5th grade students at General Beadle, Black Hawk and Valley View Elementary Schools in the 2022-2023 school year! Lifeways Counselor Michelle Ames, who is entering her 9th year with Lifeways, will be the counselor servicing these schools. She is well qualified as a Certified Addiction Counselor and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education with a Field Endorsement in Physical Education and Health Education. She has much experience in delivering prevention curriculum to elementary, middle school and high school aged youth.
"Substance abuse and addiction are preventable disorders that interfere with normal healthy functioning, contributing to physical and behavioral health problems, injuries, lost income and productivity, and family dysfunction. While substance use generally begins during the adolescent years, there are known biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors that contribute to the risk that begin accumulating as early as the prenatal period. This creates opportunities to intervene very early in an individual’s life and thereby prevent substance use disorders—and, along with them, a range of other related behavioral problems—long before they would normally manifest themselves."
NIDA. 2021, August 3. Introduction. Retrieved from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/principles-substance-abuse-prevention-early-childhood/introduction on 2022, July 5