Monday, September 28, 2020

Today is Family Day & Day 1 of InnerAct Alliance's Red Ribbon Challenge!



Today is Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children, part of a national effort to promote family dinners as an effective way to reduce youth substance abuse and other risky behaviors. It is also the First Day of the Red Ribbon Virtual Challenge, presented by InnerAct Alliance and our Title sponsor, Publix Super Markets, Inc. The goal of these initiatives is to raise awareness for prevention and help build drug-free youth and families.

We are happy to share an informative new video from the Drug Free America Foundation that highlights protective factors and what adults can do to help prevent youth from using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. It helps illustrate the many benefits of eating dinner and spending time together as a family and serves as an important reminder that family involvement can help reduce the early onset of engaging in risky behaviors.

Studies show that protective factors and knowing how to build strong healthy families can help prevent youth from experiencing adverse childhood experiences and initiating into substance abuse.

For more helpful information and resources, please visit https://www.dfaf.org/ and be sure to register FREE to take part in the Red Ribbon Virtual Challenge at https://www.redribbonrun.com/ 



Saturday, September 26, 2020

2020 Red Ribbon Virtual Challenge Weekly Challenges

 


2020 Red Ribbon Virtual Challenge
 Weekly Challenges

We are excited to announce our Red Ribbon Virtual Challenge! Although we are not able to host an in-person event this year because of COVID-19, we are very excited for our new Red Ribbon virtual activities that begin on September 28 and continue during October. Join us each week for new challenges. EVERYONE can join in the fun - mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and even your pets! Register FREE on the event website www.RedRibbonRun.com and be sure to post your completed challenges each week with the hashtag #RedRibbonChallenge and you may be featured on the Red Ribbon Facebook page. Have fun!





2020 Red Ribbon Virtual Challenge Event Dates: September 28 – October 31, 2020

 


2020 Red Ribbon Virtual Challenge
Event Dates: September 28 – October 31, 2020

The Annual Red Ribbon Campaign is an alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs prevention awareness effort celebrated during the month of October to encourage healthy life choices. InnerAct Alliance and Title Sponsor, Publix Super Markets, in Lakeland, Florida, are proud to continue our community’s Red Ribbon tradition by presenting the 2020 Red Ribbon Challenge to support prevention of substance abuse and bullying. The event, which will be held virtually this year due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19, kicks off on September 28th with Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children and ends on October 31st. 

Children in grades K-8 can register for free on the event website RedRibbonRun.com, complete fun weekly challenge activities at home with family and friends, and post their challenge activities on the Red Ribbon Run Facebook page with the hashtag #redribbonchallenge for a chance to earn points and win a special prize. Anyone may register (free) and take part in the Red Ribbon Challenge activities; however, prizes will not be available for older students, adults, or non-registered participants. Challenges are based on elements of healthy living and a different activity will be featured each week during October with themes of Nutrition, Healthy Mind/Healthy Body, Kindness & Tolerance, Help Save The Planet, and Healthy Lifestyle. 

Statistics show that families who eat dinner and participate in activities together benefit in a variety of ways. Eating family meals and spending time together can help build stronger relationships and foster more effective communication. Children tend to be better students and become more well-adjusted teens so they may be less likely to abuse drugs. 

For registration and information on the 2020 Red Ribbon Virtual Challenge, please visit the event website at RedRibbonRun.com or call InnerAct Alliance at (863) 802-0777.


Registration is Now Open to Participate in the 2020 Red Ribbon Virtual Challenge

 


The InnerAct Alliance Board of Directors Challenges YOU to participate in the Red Ribbon Virtual Challenge activities each week! Share your photos by using the hashtag #RedRibbonChallenge and you may be featured on our Red Ribbon Facebook page! 

The
2020 Red Ribbon Virtual  Challenge offers a series of activities to be completed over a 5-week period. Weekly challenges are based on elements of healthy living and ways to live your best life.

The Challenge kicks off on September 28th with Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children and ends on October 31st. A different health-oriented challenge activity will be featured each week during the month of October with themes of Nutrition, Healthy Mind/Healthy Body, Kindness & Tolerance, Help Save The Planet, and Healthy Lifestyle. 

Students in Grades K-8 can register for FREE on the event website www.RedRibbonRun.com and complete at least 15 challenges by October 31, 2020 to be eligible to earn a special prize. Anyone is welcome to register for free and participate in challenge activities, however prizes will not be available for older students, adults, or non-registered participants.

If you would like to be featured on our Red Ribbon Run Facebook page, please post a picture or description of your completed Red Ribbon Challenge activities and be sure to include the hashtag #redribbonchallenge 

Prizes for registered participants in Grades K-8 who have completed at least 15 challenges by 10/31/20 will be distributed after Winter Break. Come join us for lots of healthy family fun! 


Monday, September 21, 2020

Celebrate Family Day™ - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children on September 28, 2020

 


InnerAct Alliance and its coalition partners, StandUP Polk and UthMpact, are proud to join in the national effort to promote family dinners as an effective way to reduce youth substance abuse and other risky behaviors. We encourage everyone to participate in Family Day™ A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children next Monday, September 28, 2020.

Family Day began in 2001 as a national effort to promote family dinners as an effective way to help kids grow up safe, healthy, and drug free. Research from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University consistently finds that the more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they will be to smoke, drink, or use illegal substances. To sign the family day pledge and find helpful tips to talk with your children, please visit www.informedfamilies.org.

Another way to celebrate healthy living without harmful drugs is by participating in the 2020 Red Ribbon Virtual Challenge presented by InnerAct Alliance and Title Sponsor, Publix Super Markets, Inc. 

The Red Ribbon Challenge will kick off on September 28 and continue during the month of October with virtual weekly challenge activities featuring themes of: Nutrition, Healthy Mind/Healthy Body, Kindness & Tolerance, Help Save The Planet, and Healthy Lifestyle. Children in grades K-8 can register for FREE and complete the challenges with family members and friends, post pictures of their activities, and earn cool prizes!

Additional information and online registration for the Red Ribbon Challenge can be found at: www.RedRibbonRun.com 


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Tips for Self-Care While Practicing Physical Distancing

 


How to Care for Yourself While
Practicing Physical Distancing


If you are feeling overwhelmed or mentally exhausted because of changes to our society brought on by COVID-19, you’re not alone. The pandemic has impacted millions of Americans physically, mentally and emotionally.

People across the country are experiencing increased levels of stress and fear because of the new disease as well as feelings of isolation brought on by physical distancing. Research from the Kaiser Family Foundation says 45% of adults report feelings of worry and stress related to COVID-19 that have negatively impacted their mental health. Feelings of anxiety are becoming more common as people are worried about themselves or their loved ones getting sick.

The Mental Health First Aid Blog (www.mhfa.org) offers these easy self-care strategies to help reduce feelings of depression and prevent anxiety while social distancing:

1.    Eat healthfully to keep your body in top working order.

2.    Exercise reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, whether we’re working out at home or taking a solo jog around the neighborhood.

3.    Practice relaxation therapy. Focusing on tensing and relaxing muscle groups can help you relax voluntarily when feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious.

4.    Let light in. Increased exposure to light can improve symptoms of depression. If you can, open the shades and let more sunlight in.

5.    Be kind to yourself! Treat yourself with the same compassion you would a friend.

6.    Stay connected. Even if you can’t get together face-to-face, you can stay connected to friends, family and neighbors with phone calls, text messages, video chats and social media. If you’re feeling lonely, sad or anxious, reach out to your social support networks. Share what you are feeling and offer to listen to friends or family members about their feelings. We are all experiencing this scary and uncertain time together.

7.    Monitor media consumption. While you might want to stay up-to the minute with COVID-19 news, too much exposure can be overwhelming. Balance media consumption with other activities you enjoy, such as reading, cooking or listening to music.

 


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Happiness Chemicals for Positive Mental Health


Happiness Chemicals for Positive Mental Health

With everything going on in our world today, it is more important than ever to be mindful of our overall health and well-being, which not only affects how we think, act, and feel, but also how we are able to handle stress, relate to others, and make important choices for our families. If we are not feeling 100%, then our decisions may not be 100%. 

Take time to engage in healthy activities that can help create a hopeful mindset and maintain a safe, positive home environment during these unsettling times. Mental Health MATTERS, so check out the simple tasks posted above to help boost your mood!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Family-Friendly Summer Activities


HAPPY SUMMER!
Family-Friendly Summer Activities
suggested by our friends at Informed Families

Summer is finally here! We're all ready for a much needed break from homeschooling and looking forward to some fun. However, a less structured day and minimal supervision can spell trouble for some kids and teens.

Spending time together as a family is a great time to build healthy relationships. When you're enjoying activities with your kids, use it as an opportunity to talk and really listen to one another. The earlier you start connecting with your kids, the better. If your kids aren't used to talking to you about what's going on in their lives when they are 8 or 10 years old, it's harder to get them talking when they are 12-14 years old.

Check out the list of family-friendly summer activities below that are not only fun but also healthy and safe!

MIND
  • Do a puzzle – create a cozy puzzle corner so you can complete complex puzzles over time
  • Watch a documentary – Netflix and Disney+ has some great ones
  • Write a story or play – get those creative juices flowing
  • Listen to a podcast – check out NPR’s Wow in the World
  • Build with Legos or blocks – an all-time favorite for younger kids
BODY
  • Take a walk – hit the beach or a nature trail
  • Do yoga – Cosmic Kids Yoga combines yoga, mindfulness and storytelling
  • Have a dance party - take turns being the DJ!
  • Bike riding – have your kids map out the route beforehand
  • Play charades – everyone can join in the fun
SPIRIT
  • Pray – pray through words, art or song
  • Listen to music or sing – share some of your favorites with your children, and listen to some of theirs
  • Write in a journal – a great activity for reflection & goal setting
  • Meditate – everyone benefits from taking time out each day to "unplugged", relax, and focus.
  • Create a gratitude or vision board – hang the completed masterpiece up where it can be seen everyday
ENVIRONMENT
  • Wash the family car – kids love to help out
  • Draw murals outside with colored chalk – the driveway or sidewalk is your canvas
  • Garden – start an herb or vegetable planter
  • Go through toys, clothes and books – decide what you can donate
  • Volunteer – help your kids develop empathy & compassion for others
FAMILY
  • Play board games – so many great ones to choose from
  • Cook dinner together – the Food Network has tons of kid-friendly recipes
  • Watch a movie – perfect for a family night in
  • Have a picnic – this can be as easy as spreading a blanket down in your backyard
  • Tell stories about old memories – a great way to create new memories too

Happy 4th of July
- Have a Safe Summer!


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Red Ribbon 2020 - A Hopeful Look Ahead!

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused InnerAct Alliance’s board of directors and staff to doubt the wisdom of holding our usual Fall programs and events that are attended annually by large groups of people, including children and their families. Safety is our main priority. While no one knows for certain what the months ahead will bring, we are beginning to plan some special activities and events that may take on a different look for 2020 as we attempt to follow safe social distancing practices.

Here’s a preview of what’s ahead:

With the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus and the challenges associated with hosting a large community event within social distancing guidelines, the InnerAct Alliance board of directors and staff have made a difficult decision that the Red Ribbon Run cannot be planned in its traditional format this year.

Exciting plans are underway to create a new Red Ribbon Virtual Race and Challenge which will begin on September 28, 2020 with Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children and continue through the month of October. The Red Ribbon Race and Challenge will present "prevention challenges" for students and adults to achieve milestones in an Olympic-themed virtual race offering bronze, silver, and gold levels for participants to earn medals and prizes! Completed challenges will be represented as milestones along a virtual path. 

Details for registration and weekly themed prevention challenges will be announced soon. Challenge themes may include: Nutrition, Healthy Body-Healthy Mind, Kindness, Anti-Bullying and Tolerance, Push-ups/Sit-ups, Run/Bike/Hike a Mile activities, etc. 

We hope you will join us for a new, different, and fun Red Ribbon event!

2020: A Year Like No Other!


We can probably all agree that it’s been one heck of a crazy year! 2020 began in the usual way - going to work, learning at school, playing sports, attending events, enjoying restaurants and movies, and hanging out with friends. Then suddenly in mid-March, along came the COVID-19 pandemic and our everyday lives came to a screeching halt as we were forced to adjust to a “new normal” to keep safe. Suddenly, we were staying home, social distancing, wearing a face mask, washing our hands more often, and experiencing life virtually rather than in person!


This has not been an easy time for anyone. No one wants to be apart from friends and family members and we miss interacting with each other. And, with school closings and many other closures and cancellations, we have missed out on celebrating special events such as prom, graduation, sports seasons, weddings, parties, vacation trips, etc.

As Summer begins, we are beginning to see hopeful signs that spread of the Coronavirus has lessened with fewer people becoming seriously ill. Hopefully, we can start to enjoy a return to normal with workplaces, restaurants, beaches, and theme parks reopening with safety precautions in place. Scientists are still studying COVID-19, so it’s important that we continue to keep safety in mind and social distance because there is no vaccine yet to help us become immune to this quick-spreading virus.

We want to stay connected while social distancing so we can continue to give and receive support from one another. InnerAct Alliance is committed to staying in touch with our amazing students, supportive business and prevention partners, families, and community. We are planning our Fall activities and events within safe social distancing guidelines and we look forward to celebrating the Annual Red Ribbon Campaign during October, teaching prevention education classes to students, and providing a great learning experience for our UthMpact Leadership Class X teen leaders – albeit in an alternate way. Be safe and stay well!



Monday, May 11, 2020

SAMHSA's National Prevention Week May 10-16, 2020


NATIONAL PREVENTION WEEK – MAY 10-16, 2020

InnerAct Alliance is honored to partner with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to celebrate National Prevention Week (NPW) from May 10-16, 2020, an annual health observance to increase public awareness and action for substance abuse prevention and promote positive mental health. NPW is organized around some of the following theme days with resources and activities to focus attention on substances that threaten the health of our communities:

Monday: Preventing Prescription Drug & Opioid Misuse

Tuesday: Preventing Underage Drinking & Alcohol Misuse

 Wednesday: Preventing Illicit Drug Use & Youth Marijuana Use

Thursday: Preventing Youth Tobacco Use (E-cigarettes & Vaping)

 Friday: Preventing Suicide

With families spending more time at home to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, this is an opportune time for parents to engage in meaningful discussion with their children to share fact-based information about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Knowledge can help youngsters to make informed decisions and help families stay healthy and substance-free.  

For more great information and resources, please visit the Drug Free America Foundation website at www.dfaf.org or SAMHSA at www.samhsa.gov  



Friday, May 1, 2020

Risks of Smoking & How It Relates to COVID-19



Thanks to our friends at Tobacco Free Florida and the Florida Health Department for sharing this important and very timely information....another great reason to quit smoking now or better yet, NEVER START!





Thursday, April 16, 2020

Tips to Stay Sane While Self Quarantined During COVID-19


Flavored E-Cigarettes Hiding in Plain Sight



Flavored E-Cigarettes Hiding in Plain Sight


Youth e-cigarette use has become an epidemic in our country. Adults play an important role in protecting youth from these harmful items.

You can help by educating yourself, dispelling myths among friends and family, and talking to your kids about the serious health risks associated with vaping and nicotine addiction.

Check out these great resources from our Friends at Tobacco Free Polk regarding vaping and our youth:

youtube.com/watch?v=htAsfUEoEC4&amp:feature=youtu.be

https://tobaccofreeflorida.com/blog/tipsforparents/ 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Help is Available: Crisis Resources and Hotlines


You are NOT Alone - Help is Available
Crisis Resources and Hotlines

A message from National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health: https://www.ffcmh.org/crisis-hotlines

Friends and Colleagues,

We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic is placing additional stress on everyone, including parents, youth and children. To help anyone who experiences a crisis, we created a new resource page that lists free, national hotlines and helplines to address the areas of need listed below. 

• Mental Health Treatment and Support
• Crisis and Suicide Risk
• Substance Use
• Child Abuse or Neglect
• Domestic/Family Violence
• Access to Food
• Parenting

We hope you will find these resources helpful in your efforts to remain safe and healthy and to provide support to others.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Make Sure You're Counted! Fill Out the U.S. Census!


Friendly Reminder:
Complete Your U.S. Census 2020

What matters to you: Schools? Transportation? Hospitals? Data from the U.S. Census Bureau will help inform planning efforts for all these important community resources.

Make sure you're counted by filling out the U.S. Census 2020. An accurate count means that communities across the nation will receive the funding, services, and business support they deserve and need.

About 143 million households received an invitation in the mail to respond to the 2020 Census but it's even quicker and easier to fill out the Census online. The process is QUICK, EASY and SECURE!

To learn what to expect and fill out your 2020 Census, visit 2020census.gov




Monday, March 30, 2020

Family Fun Prevention Activities for National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week


Family Fun Prevention Activities for
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

March 30-April 5, 2020

The week of March 30-April 5, 2020 is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, a week devoted to empowering teens with resources so they can SHATTER THE MYTHS about drugs and alcohol. 

Here's a list of Fun Activities for Families to do together:






To learn more about science-based information on teen drug use and its effects, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens (NIDA) website at: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Take Part in National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week: March 30 – April 5, 2020



InnerAct Alliance is partnering with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to celebrate National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week from March 30 to April 5, 2020 and connect students with science-based resources to SHATTER THE MYTHS about drugs and alcohol.

With families spending more time at home to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, this is an opportune time for parents to engage in meaningful discussion with their children to share fact-based information about drugs and alcohol. Knowledge can help teens make informed decisions and help families stay healthy and substance-free.  

According to the 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey, which annually tracks substance abuse outcomes among U.S. adolescents:

Marijuana continues to be the most used illicit drug by adolescents

1-in-4 12th graders reported vaping nicotine in the past month, along with 1-in-5 10th graders, and nearly 1-in-10 8th graders

Many teens say they vape for the flavor, to experiment, for social reasons, or to feel good

From 2018-2019, the number of 12th graders saying they vape because they are “hooked” more than doubled to 8.1%, up from 3.6%

Our agency's youth coalition, UthMpact, has compiled the following "UthMpact Facts" to share the reality that most Polk County teens are making the right choices by choosing not to drink, smoke, or use substances. This can help students avoid succumbing to peer pressure because they feel more confident to make informed personal decisions after knowing and considering all the facts.

87% of Polk County students DO NOT use marijuana
96% of Polk County students DO NOT use tobacco
98% of Polk County students DO NOT ABUSE prescription drugs
88% of Polk County students DO NOT use e-cigs or vape
84% of Polk County students DO NOT use alcohol

Please visit the NIDA for Teens website at https://teens.drugabuse.gov/national-drug-alcohol-facts-week for more information and free science-based resources and activities to help teens learn the real facts about the effects of various drugs on the brain and their body. We hope you stay safe & healthy!