Wednesday, May 12, 2021

InnerAct Alliance & UthMpact receive grant from the GiveWell Community Foundation

 

InnerAct Alliance & UthMpact Receive Grant
from the Givewell Foundation

InnerAct Alliance and its youth coalition partner, UthMpact, are proud to have been awarded a $10,000 Impact Polk grant from the George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation to address problems related to youth mental health.   

InnerAct Alliance will use the funds to support efforts of the UthMpact Leadership Program, which brings together young leaders representing every high school in Polk County and nearly every walk of life, to work proactively in schools and in the community. The “UthMpact Leadership’s Focus on Youth Mental Health” project will endeavor to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, encourage self-care, and promote equity by smashing common stereotypes and championing tolerance among teens. UthMpact members will create dynamic virtual messaging featuring profiles of teens who represent different ethnic/racial backgrounds and highlight cultural differences while underscoring similarities. Another objective will offer mental health moments in which teens will share strategies to reduce stress and suggest community resources to peers.   

“We are extremely grateful for the support of the GiveWell Community Foundation to help broaden the reach of UthMpact Leadership Program’s messaging and social norms efforts,” said Angie Ellison, executive director of InnerAct Alliance. 

"We are pleased to award this Impact Polk grant to InnerAct Alliance's UthMpact program on behalf of the George W. Jenkins Fun," said John Attaway, GiveWell Community Foundation's President/CEO. "After a particularly isolating year, providing mental health resources to our community is critical. So, to, is combatting the stigma that prevents people from getting the care and support that they need."

InnerAct Alliance, formerly the Drug Prevention Resource Center, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency established in 1985 in Lakeland, Polk County, Florida, to reduce the abuse and underage use of harmful substances along with involvement in other risky behaviors through: Community Awareness and Involvement; Prevention Education; Economic Support; and Leadership Development. The agency serves Hardee, Highlands and Polk County with prevention services including science-based education for elementary and middle school and awareness events that touch the lives of youth, adults, families, businesses, faith-based organizations and others in need with an important substance abuse prevention message. InnerAct Alliance serves as the fiscal agent for the StandUP Polk (adult) and UthMpact (youth) Coalitions for a Drug-Free Polk, collaborations which lead proactive community efforts to reduce underage use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. 

The mission of the GiveWell Community Foundation (GWCF) is to champion charitable giving to improve the quality of life in the areas we serve, both now and for future generations. We accomplish this by working with individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofits to build stronger communities in Polk, Hardee, and Highlands counties through charitable funds and competitive grant cycles. Since its founding in 1997, the community foundation has awarded more than $230 million in grants. Today, GWCF is home to more than 300 charitable funds and the Impact Polk and Empower Polk grant cycles. To learn more about GWCF, visit givecf.org or call 863-683-3131.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

National Prevention Week May 9-15, 2021 Spotlight on Preventing Underage Drinking & Alcohol Misuse

 


Spotlight on Preventing Underage Drinking & Alcohol Misuse

May 9-May 15 is National Prevention Week and today's spotlight is on preventing underage drinking.

THE FACTS: Alcohol is the most widely used substance among youth, often beginning at an early age. In 2019, almost 2.3 million 12-17-year-olds used alcohol for the first time, which is equivalent to about 6,200 youth per day. Early initiation of alcohol use is associated with heavy alcohol use, substance use, and alcohol dependence later in life. Alcohol plays a factor in the death of about 4,300 people under the age of 21 each year, reducing their lives by 60 years!

GOOD NEWS: Underage drinking, binge drinking, and heavy alcohol use among our youth have declined...PREVENTION WORKS! Parents, it's so important to talk to your child about drinking.

RESOURCES: The SAMHSA campaign "Talk. They Hear You" offers some great factual information to start the conversation with your child and continue talking to help prevent underage drinking and alcohol misuse. Click here: 

SOCIAL MEDIA: Participate in this year's challenge by sharing where you are preventing substance misuse and suicide. Take a selfie and share on social media #PreventionHappensHere

InnerAct Alliance, StandUP Polk & Peace River Center Partner for Event to Mark Mental Health Awareness Month

 


InnerAct Alliance, StandUP Polk & Peace River Center
Partner for Event to Mark Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month to raise awareness of those living with mental health or behavioral issues and help reduce the stigma so many experience. To assist in this effort, InnerAct Alliance, StandUP Polk, and Peace River Center are partnering for an informative presentation, entitled “Identifying and Understanding Teens’ Risky Behaviors”, on Thursday, May 27, 2021, at 10:30 a.m., via Zoom. 

Speakers will be Angela Ellison, Executive Director of InnerAct Alliance, for Own the Upside, and Luke Bigelow, Substance Abuse Outpatient Therapist, for Peace River Center. Topics will include areas of concern surrounding teen mental health, risky behaviors and signs of possible drug use, as well as discussion about differences between normal adolescence and mental health or mental illness struggles and how to access help. The event will take place as part of the StandUP Polk coalition meeting, but all are invited to attend. The link for Registration is: http://bit.ly/may27teens. Those interested but unable to attend may register to have a recording of the presentation emailed to them. 

InnerAct Alliance, formerly the Drug Prevention Resource Center, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency established in 1985 in Lakeland, Florida, to reduce the abuse and underage use of harmful substances along with involvement in other risky behaviors through: Community Awareness and Involvement; Prevention Education; Economic Support; and Leadership Development. The agency serves as the fiscal agent for the StandUP Polk (adult) and UthMpact (youth) Coalitions for a Drug-Free Polk, collaborations which lead proactive community efforts to reduce underage use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Own the Upside is a campaign to help prevent harm and promote health, especially for youth, and celebrates the positives that most kids are doing the right thing, while also educating parents about signs to watch for if their child may be headed in the wrong direction. Correcting risky behaviors early is the key to successful Prevention!    

Peace River Center’s mission is to engage, restore, and empower individuals in our community to reach their fullest potential. The agency provides mental health, substance abuse, primary care, 24-hour crisis response, rape crisis, and domestic violence services in its vision is to be a center of excellent for building emotional wellness. 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Spring 2021 DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Nets 1,296.6 lbs. of Medications

 



Spring 2021 DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back
Nets 1,296.6 lbs. of Medications

StandUP Polk and local law enforcement agencies were proud to participate in the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back event this past Saturday, April 24 for Polk County residents to turn in expired or unwanted human and pet medication. 

Polk County agencies collected an estimated 1,296.6 pounds of pharmaceuticals that were safely disposed of via incineration. The drop-off sites that participated in the Medication Take Back included Auburndale Police Department, Bartow Police Department, Davenport Police Department, Haines City Police Department, Lake Alfred Police Department, Lake Hamilton Police Department, Lake Wales Police Department, Lakeland Police Department, and Winter Haven Police Department. 

The latest event brings the total for collections held in Polk County to 23,593.2 pounds of recovered pharmaceuticals dating back to 2010. 

Unwanted medications may also be taken to the county’s six permanent drop sites, funded by Givewell Community Foundation in Lakeland, at the Police Department locations in: Auburndale (2 Bobby Green Plaza, weekdays 8-5); Haines City (35400 Hwy 27, weekdays 8-5); Lake Alfred (190 N. Seminole Avenue, 24hrs/7days); Lake Hamilton (100 Smith Avenue, weekdays 8-5); Lakeland (219 N. Massachusetts Avenue, 24hrs/7days); and Winter Haven (125 N. Lake Silver Drive NW, weekdays 8-5).  Please note: only solids are accepted in permanent drop boxes – no liquids or syringes. Do not dispose of medication in the toilet to avoid harming lakes and ground water. 

StandUP Polk is a community coalition working together to prevent harm and promote health through education, public awareness, and advocacy including strategies to prevent youth substance abuse. For more information, please contact StandUP Polk at (863) 802-0777.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

National Medication Take Back Day This Saturday, April 24

 


National Medication Take Back Day This Saturday, April 24, 2021

StandUP Polk and local law enforcement agencies are proud to join The Drug Enforcement Administration and its national and community partners for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, April 24, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, for citizens to dispose of unwanted, unneeded, and expired medications in a safe manner. According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.9 million Americans have misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from the home medicine cabinets of family and friends. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day provides a responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medication. 

Prescription Drug Take Back Day will include the following 9 locations in Polk County for citizens to turn in unused, expired, or unwanted Human and Pet Medications in liquid and solid form, vitamins, and syringes for proper disposal. Medications should be placed in a clear, air-tight plastic bag. 


Drop-off locations from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm are:

Auburndale Police Department – 2 Bobby Green Plaza, Auburndale, FL
Bartow Police Department – 450 North Broadway Avenue, Bartow, FL
Davenport Police Department – 16 Bay Street W, Davenport, FL
Haines City Police Department - 35400 Hwy 27, Haines City, FL
Lakeland Police Department
– 219 N. Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL
Lake Alfred Police Department
– 190 N. Seminole Avenue, Lake Alfred, FL
Lake Hamilton Police Department – 100 Smith Avenue, Lake Hamilton, FL
Lake Wales Police Department - 133 E. Tillman Avenue, Lake Wales, FL
Winter Haven Police Department – 125 N. Lake Silver Dr. NW, Winter Haven, FL

 

Unwanted medications may also be taken to the county’s permanent drop sites, funded by GiveWell Community Foundation, at the Police Department locations in: Auburndale (weekdays 8-5); Haines City (weekdays 8-5); Lake Alfred (24hrs/7days); Lake Hamilton (weekdays 8-5); Lakeland (24hrs/7days); and Winter Haven (weekdays 8-5).  Please note: only solids are accepted in permanent drop boxes (no liquids or syringes). To avoid harming lakes and ground water, please do not dispose of medication in the toilet.

 

Previous medication collections held in Polk County since 2010 have resulted in 22,296.6 pounds of recovered pharmaceuticals safely disposed of via incineration. StandUP Polk is a community coalition working together to prevent harm and promote health through education, public awareness, and advocacy including strategies to prevent youth substance abuse. 



UthMpact Leadership Class X Graduation April 7, 2021

 


UthMpact Leadership Class X Graduation April 7, 2021

InnerAct Alliance is proud to congratulate the 32 student leaders who graduated from the UthMpact Leadership Class X on April 7, 2021. The pandemic has made for an extremely challenging year that began last summer with a fun training retreat where students gained useful leadership skills and explored the unique traits and depth of their personalities with DiSC Personality testing. Throughout the year, they took part in Leadership Days themed for Volunteerism, Business, and Career, and participated in many rewarding volunteer opportunities both online and in person.

InnerAct Alliance, StandUP Polk, and UthMpact would like to express our thanks and appreciation to all program supporters this year and through the years. Thanks to you, today's youth are encouraged and empowered to make positive choices and share what they have learned with their peers to improve the future of our community!

Monday, April 12, 2021

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day - Saturday, April 24, 2021

 


NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK DAY
Saturday, April 24, 2021

StandUP Polk and local law enforcement agencies are proud to join The Drug Enforcement Administration and its national and community partners for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 24, 2021, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, for citizens to dispose of unwanted, unneeded, and expired medications in a safe manner. 

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.9 million Americans have misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from the home medicine cabinets of family and friends. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day provides a responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medication. 

Prescription Drug Take Back Day will include the following locations in Polk County for citizens to turn in unused, expired, or unwanted Human and Pet Medications in liquid and solid form, vitamins, and syringes for proper disposal. Medications should be placed in a clear, air-tight plastic bag. 

 

Drop-off locations from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm are:

Auburndale Police Department – 2 Bobby Green Plaza, Auburndale, FL
Bartow Police Department – 450 North Broadway Avenue, Bartow, FL
Davenport Police Department - 16 Bay St. W., Davenport, FL
Lakeland Police Department – 219 N. Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL
Lake Alfred Police Department
– 190 N. Seminole Avenue, Lake Alfred, FL
Lake Hamilton Police Department – 100 Smith Avenue, Lake Hamilton, FL
Lake Wales Police Department - 133 E. Tillman Avenue, Lake Wales, FL
Winter Haven Police Department – 125 N. Lake Silver Dr. NW, Winter Haven, FL

 

Unwanted medications may also be taken to the county’s permanent drop sites, funded by GiveWell Community Foundation, at the Police Department locations in: Auburndale (weekdays 8-5); Haines City (weekdays 8-5); Lake Alfred (24hrs/7days); Lake Hamilton (weekdays 8-5); Lakeland (24hrs/7days); and Winter Haven (weekdays 8-5).  Please note: only solids are accepted in permanent drop boxes (no liquids or syringes). To avoid harming lakes and ground water, please do not dispose of medication in the toilet.

 

Previous medication collections held in Polk County since 2010 have resulted in 22,296.6 pounds of recovered pharmaceuticals safely disposed of via incineration. StandUP Polk is a community coalition working together to prevent harm and promote health through education, public awareness, and advocacy including strategies to prevent youth substance abuse. For more information on the local Prescription Drug Take-Back event, please contact StandUP Polk at (863) 802-0777.