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VAASA - Youth Summit 2019

Members of the Varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse (VAASA) club, along with their club advisors, Kelly Kutch and Gina Donahue, attended the Second Annual CODA: Co-Occurring Disorders Awareness Youth Summit at Westchester County Center.  Co-Occurring Disorders are a combination of one or more mental health challenges resulting in substance misuse or addiction.

Sleepy Hollow High School was among the 46 area high schools who participated in this event intended to educated and empower student leaders to become the voices of change in their high school and local communities involving the mental health challenges that typically emerge during adolescence.  

To reduce the growing incidence of youth mental health crises (including drug misuse, addiction, overdose and suicide), youth leaders and club advisors from various school districts worked collaboratively to brainstorm effective preventative and early intervention strategies for mental health challenges and substance misuse in our teen population.  Members of the Sleepy Hollow VAASA Club attended different breakout sessions where they were able to connect and collaborate with peers from local school districts as they worked towards a common goal. Some of the topics of the breakout sessions included: effectively leading change; mindfulness; social media and trends; transformation through the arts and sport; creating connections; and supporting friends and peers.

Members of Sleepy Hollow’s VAASA Club left the summit with contacts for support within our local school community and how to be the link to connect someone else to these resources that can positively change outcomes.  The VAASA Club has the power to #BeTheLink.