Buses like this one on the 71 bus will get priority heading toward Harvard Square on Mt. Auburn Street in the new Cambridge-Watertown Bus Priority Pilot program. State officials announced youth from Watertown can receive discount passes to ride the MBTA buses and trains through the Youth Pass program. The program is aimed at people between age 12 and 25 who are not enrolled in school or college (they already qualify for passes for school or college students). Students over 18 must be enrolled in an alternative education program (such as GED), a job training program, or a federal benefit program, including MassHealth and SNAP.
The following information was provided by Watertown Youth Coalition:
WYC would like to hear from all Watertown residents about how we can best support you in taking responsibility for the wellness of our youth and community. Youth wellness is at the heart of community wellness. Please come share with us about your passions, concerns and ideas for welcoming, educating and supporting our wonderfully diverse community! Hot topics these days are vaping, youth substance misuse prevention, mental health, acceptance, racial justice and equity, LGBTQIA+ and social justice, intersectionality, legalization of marijuana, underage drinking, screen time, managing stress and supporting overall wellness. Which are most important to you?
The following information was provided by Wayside Youth & Family Support Network:
Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This 8-hour training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care. It also explores skills to manage a mental health crisis until professionals arrive to take over. As a community, we are responsible for supporting those in need around us. This training teaches us how to better understand and support the needs of those in our community who may be struggling with their mental health.
The Community Spirit Awards recipients from left to right: Ellen Kolton, Carol Pennington, Deanne Galdston, Theresa McGuinness, Tina Loguidice, Lisa Bartlet, and Andy Short. (not pictured: John Straus, Barbara Beck, and Richard Arnold of the Watertown Board of Health). The following announcement was provided by Samantha Chan from the Watertown Youth Coalition:
On a beautiful Wednesday evening, June 12, 2019, the Watertown Youth Coalition and Wayside Youth & Family Support Network’s Multi-Service Center hosted their 12th annual Community Spirit Awards. This celebratory event honors individuals who are committed to the health and well-being of Watertown’s youth and families. The evening began with a dinner donated by various local restaurants, and was followed by a showcase of the WYC Peer Leaders projects, depicting the vaping epidemic affecting all schools nationwide.
The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Youth Coalition:
Watertown Youth Coalition and Wayside Youth & Family Support Network’s Multi-Service Center invite nominations for our 2019 Community Spirit Awards and welcome the community to our annual awards event to appreciate and honor the individuals in the community committed to the health and well-being of Watertown’s youth and families. This event is free and open to the public. Light dinner will be provided. To nominate someone, please fill out this form by June 1: http://bit.ly/2019communityspiritawards
*Individuals eligible for nomination are those who have:
● Served as a positive influence or mentor to a Watertown Youth Coalition member or to others in the community
● Had the courage to address challenging issues that affect youth and the community
● Actively taken steps to improve the Watertown community for youth and families (in big and small ways)
● Not received an award in the past 5 years
When: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 from 6:00–7:30 p.m.
Where: Arsenal Community Park, 458 Arsenal St., Watertown
Register here to confirm your attendance: http://bit.ly/2019communityspritawards
Funding is provided by the Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Addiction Services and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. About Watertown Youth Coalition:
Watertown Youth Coalition’s mission is to support the wellness and empowerment of Watertown youth by engaging young people, families, and the community.
The Youth Peer Leaders from Watertown High School helped organize the Well-Being of Watertown Youth Town Hall Meeting along with the Watertown Youth Coalition. The following piece was provided by Samantha Chan of the Watertown Youth Coalition:
On Wednesday evening, March 20, 2019, the Watertown Youth Coalition Peer Leaders had their theatrical debut in a skit called “Welcome to Rehab”, which was written as a collaboration between the Improbable Players and Peer Leaders, and directed by Andy Short. This impactful performance depicted what addiction to substances can look like for both teenagers and adults, and how it affects the important people in their lives. Following the act, the Peer Leaders facilitated discussions around substance use, racial equity, sexual and gender identity, and mental health. These topic areas were drawn from quotes of attendees of the 2018 Town Hall meeting.
Three of the Watertown Youth Peer Leaders act out a scene where the boy in the middle asks his friend for money so he can buy drugs from the student in front of him. The group spreads awareness of substance abuse and other issues facing teens. Showing that teens do care about more than video games and shopping, a group of Watertown High School students presented a Town Hall meeting about issues facing youth in Town: addiction, depression, racism, and sexual identity. The Watertown Youth Coalition’s Youth Peer Leaders helped organize the Well-Being of Watertown Youth Town Hall meeting, held at the Watertown Free Public Library on Wednesday. It was also sponsored by the Watertown Youth Coalition.
The following information was provided by the Wayside Youth & Family Support Network:
Wayside Youth & Family Support Network’s Multi-Service Center and PBS’ science series, NOVA, are holding a screening of the documentary, Addiction. The screening is free and open to the public. The film, produced by NOVA, a program of WGBH Boston, takes a hard look at the science of addiction. Addiction features firsthand accounts from individuals and families struggling with opioid addiction. While addiction has long been viewed as a moral failing, leading scientists will help viewers understand why addiction is a disorder that occurs as a result of drugs profoundly altering the brain. Addictionexplores how we might best address our drug problem, from advances in neuroscience, the development of evidence-based treatments to the rethinking of laws and public policies. A panel of local experts will be on hand to answer audience questions following the film including:
Dr. Laura Kehoe, medical director, MGH Substance Use Disorder Bridge Clinic, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, also featured in the filmDr. Dara Arons, family physician, Charles River Community HealthDr. Damian Archer, chief medical officer, North Shore Community Health CenterPeter Airasian, co-founder, Watertown Overcoming Addiction
When: Tues., March 5, 2019, 6–8:30 p.m.
Where: Mosesian Center, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown, MA
Eventbrite RSVP: https://bit.ly/2UTpujx or contact Stephanie_Sunderland@waysideyouth.org
A Narcan training will be provided by the Watertown Fire Department.