Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Welcome to Prevention OK

Welcome to Prevention OK, a Professional Collaboration Community of counselors, educators, parents, students, community members and others who are interested in prevention. This community has been created in order to work together to collaborate to make our state safer, more knowledgeable, and kinder.

I am a former school counselor and advocate who is now focused on prevention in Oklahoma for school-aged children. However, prevention is something we need for all people, and this community if for everyone.

I am also a mom of two awesome boys who are 12 and 14. One is entering middle school this year and the other is entering high school. Just like most people, they have found themselves the target of bullies. I would argue that at least 99.9% of children, adolescents, and even adults would tell you that they, too, have been victims of bullying. I can still remember the painful remarks made about me through school. When you are bullied, the hurt doesn't just go away on its own.

I am also passionate about the prevention of suicide. Like most people, I have lost someone I love to suicide. It never stops hurting to know the person I loved was hurting so much that she killed herself. I have also worked with dozens and dozens of adolescents who were suicidal. It's an area of prevention that we cannot ignore and must do everything in our power to help prevent.

The use and abuse of drugs and alcohol in our society is also something I am hoping to help prevent. Not only are drug and alcohol related deaths unacceptable, but the course of people's lives can  be forever changed while under the influence. It can be heartbreaking.

Sexual assault and teen dating violence are also areas that are close to my heart. Once someone has been assaulted, they are never the same. Many people are resilient and use their experience to empower themselves and others. But not everyone is affected the same way. We know that being a victim of sexual assault can lead to personal trauma and disaster.

With all of these issues and more, we must take a stand to not only help victims recover, but to prevent all of these tragedies from happening in the first place.

That is exactly why this community was created; together we are stronger.

I am so glad you have found our community and are on board with where we are going. I believe that together we can make a difference.