Students Take a Stand Against Substance Abuse Through “We Are Hope” Week

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New Parent University added to address parent questions on substance abuse

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (March 28, 2017) – In partnership with HopeRx, students in Henderson County Public Schools’ four middle and six high schools are taking a public stand against substance abuse during the week-long “We Are Hope” campaign April 3-7, which was formally recognized Wednesday, March 15 by Henderson County Commissioners.

It’s the third year the schools’ student government organizations and leaders have organized the campaign with HopeRx, and this year several community agencies have shown great support for the initiative. Since the first “We Are Hope” Week in 2015, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Henderson County EMS, Blue Ridge Health and local free clinics have increased their active participation in planning the annual campaigns, and this year the Henderson County Department of Public Health, Park Ridge Health and Pardee Hospital have offered support and sponsorships for various events.

New this year, a panel formed from these same partners – from law enforcement agencies and EMS on the frontlines of Henderson County’s drug problem, to healthcare professionals and school system leaders trained to work with adolescents – will speak at a Parent University at Blue Ridge Community College on Thursday, April 6, to help parents, foster parents, grandparents and other adults navigate the current climate, recognize warning signs of substance abuse, and answer pertinent questions.

The panel consists of Dr. Kelley Singer (Medical Director of Physician Quality, Park Ridge Health), Dr. David Ellis (Chief Medical Officer, Pardee Hospital), Matt Webber (Director of Pharmacy, Park Ridge Health), Glen Gillette (Critical Care Paramedic, Henderson County EMS), Major Frank Stout (Henderson County Sheriff’s Office), and Dr. John Bryant (Henderson County Public Schools).

As in years past, “We Are Hope” Week will also include assemblies WEekat each school featuring locals in the community who have either personally overcome substance abuse or seen firsthand the devastating effects of addiction. Daily awareness activities will stress the importance of remaining substance free and throughout the campaign, each school will have students signing pledge banners bearing the school’s mascot and a pledge to be substance free, sponsored by Park Ridge Health and Champion Comfort Experts.

“#WeAreHope stickers will be available for all students who sign a banner to remain substance free and white ribbons will be placed on trees at school campuses to represent the pledge,” said Julie Huneycutt, director of HopeRx.

Students will sign the banners throughout the week, and the “We Are Hope” Week will culminate at 12 p.m. Friday, April 7, when all 10 banners will be hung from the Henderson County Historic Courthouse pillars.

More about Parent University
Sponsored by Park Ridge Health and hosted by the BRCC Student Government Association, the Parent University engagement night will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, at Blue Ridge Community College in the Bo Thomas Auditorium, where hors d’oeuvres will also be provided. Parent University will kick off with a brief keynote sponsored by Pardee Hospital: speaker Jessi Correa will share the message she’s told our students – the powerful story of her brother becoming addicted to heroin while in high school, which ultimately led to his early death from an opioid overdose. The panel will engage in a Q&A with attendees, answering submitted questions. Questions may be emailed ahead of time to hoperxhc@gmail.com, or submitted on cards provided the evening of the event.

While the student-led “We Are Hope” Week activities are implemented only in Henderson County Public Schools’ middle and high schools, any parents/mentors of children any age are welcome to this event. Visit the “Parent University” event on Facebook and invite others from here: http://www.facebook.com/events/1500341503341909/.

About HopeRx
HopeRx is a coalition designed to unite community leaders, parents, educators, students, healthcare providers, EMS workers and volunteers, law enforcement, the judicial system, civic organizations and faith groups throughout Henderson County to work collaboratively to address the issues of prescription drug abuse, one of the top three health problems in the county.

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