Job Opening: Youth Mental Wellbeing Program Coordinator

Job Opening: Youth Mental Wellbeing Program Coordinator

Title: Youth Mental Wellbeing Program Coordinator

FTE/Status: .8 to 1 FTE (32-40 hr/wk) depending on funding and number of hires, up to two positions available.
Start Date: Open Until Filled with March 1, 2022 as a goal
Hours:  Mostly between Mon. to Fri.  8 to 5 p.m.  Some weekends and evenings.
Reports to: Prevention Program Manager
To Apply: Send cover letter, resume and three professional references (including name, title, phone number and email contact) to info@wfcn.org
Compensation: Starting Range: $23 to $25

DESCRIPTION:

  • Coordinate all aspects of a sustainable youth mental wellbeing program, including youth suicide prevention and mental health promotion.
  • Promote healthy youth development by developing and promoting youth leadership opportunities, community and mental health promotion messages, and applying trauma-informed, hope raising and resilience building frameworks and practices.
  • Deliver and strengthen the M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. Youth Suicide Prevention and Mental Wellbeing Training Curriculum, using peer to peer strategies.  Expand capacity for implementation by developing and implementing a Train-the-Trainer model.
  • Lead and support the M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. planning team and youth advisory groups or clubs that develop.
  • Cultivate and convene strategic partnerships to create or strengthen program sustainability.
  • Increase youth & adult leadership and engagement in M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. and other mental wellbeing strategies, including the youth-led Trusted Adult Campaign & Workshops and collaborations like ”Let’s Chalk About It” or “VolunTeen” summer programs.   
  • Participate in program development, including identifying and procuring resources.
  • Develop strong volunteer base of trainers and project leads, especially youth.
  • Supervise AmeriCorps members, interns and/or volunteers.
  • Provide program outreach and community awareness activities, including social media.
  • Collect, analyze, disseminate and report on program data. 
  • Provide research and leadership in recognizing and addressing the disproportionate impact of suicide on LGBTQ+, Native American, Latinx, Rural and BIPOC youth and delivering youth suicide prevention within a social justice framework.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:

  • Apply advanced organizational and relational and team building skills to develop diverse, strong, trust-based relationships/partnerships/collaborations and to navigate and streamline systems to work with others within systems or develop systems to advance goals.
  • Learn and apply contemporary prevention science theory and strategies to develop and implement quality youth-centered mental wellbeing and suicide prevention programming.
  • Work positively with youth and young adults as valued team members and leaders. Recruit, train, schedule, manage and support volunteers to present M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. workshops and lead other prevention strategies, includes high school and college aged students/interns and adult community members.  Supervise interns, volunteers and others.
  • Demonstrate strong communication, networking, presentation and facilitation skills—awareness of body and spoken language. Use visual aids. Bilingual skills a plus! Present curriculum in high school and middle school classrooms. Develop materials (i.e. curriculum & volunteer manuals).
  • Provide regular face-to-face, e-mail and phone contact with many sector representatives, including county-wide school systems, parents, youth and young adults. Ability to communicate and raise community awareness of youth suicide through social media, Facebook, webpage, etc. and positive social norming.  Outreach to existing and potential clubs and partners.
  • Advanced computing in MS Office applications and other presentation and desktop publishing applications. Creation of forms, flyers, spreadsheets; use of and reporting of data; development of training and guidance materials. Able to learn new technology skills.
  • Assess, evaluate and report on programmatic and operational information as required.
  • Strong problem-solving ability.  Calm under pressure. Strong emotional self-regulation.
  • Demonstrate cultural competency. Work with diverse populations. Value equity & social justice.
  • Positive attitude. Persistent character with understanding and value of a strength-based, abundance perspective and trauma-informed practice.

OTHER DUTIES:

  • Administrative tasks—e-mailing, phone work, filing, copying, data entry and reporting as relevant to WFCN need and project assignment.
  • Attend Whatcom Prevention Coalition Meetings; Some weekend and evening events.
  • Scheduling and logistics for trainings, community meetings, outreach opportunities, & events.
  • Attend relevant trainings.
  • Seek funding opportunities through networking and research.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • 2 years experience, successfully and passionately coordinating youth-centered programs; promoting healthy youth development in school systems or youth serving organizations.
  • 1 year experience with youth suicide prevention or related health
  • 1 year experience with data collection and analysis.
  • 1 year experience in well-being promotion.
  • Demonstrated experience in presenting and training.
  • Demonstrated understanding of diversity, inclusion and equity issues in serving youth.
  • Preferred: Bachelor’s Degree in related field or equivalent professional experience.
  • Preferred: Experience working in a middle school/high school setting.
  • Preferred:  Bi-lingual and bi-cultural in Spanish.
  • Candidates lived experience aligned with populations of focus highly encouraged to apply.

BENEFITS:

  • Starting range: $23 to $25/hour
  • Value work life balance and promote wellbeing. Flexible scheduling aligned with needs of the project.
  • Prorated Health/Dental benefits with FTE. .8 FTE is considered full time and is covered at 100%. Mileage reimbursement for approved travel for business purposes. Generous Paid-Time Off, Bereavement and 11 Holidays
  • Professional development, resume building, professional recommendations.

Whatcom Family & Community Network is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.  Candidates with lived experience aligned with populations of focus are highly encouraged to apply.

To Apply: Send cover letter, resume and three professional references (including name, title, phone number and email contact) to info@wfcn.org

Anne Deacon

Anne Deacon

2021 Legacy Award Recipient

Anne recently retired after a distinguished career with Whatcom County Health Department as Human Services Manager. One of Anne’s first efforts, once she officially began working with the health department in 2008, was to coordinate the behavioral health sales tax initiative. Her advocacy at the local, regional, and statewide level resulted in millions of dollars coming to the county over the years. Her ability to understand the landscape of complex systems and needs has ensured that resources are coordinated and maximized, making every dollar count.

Prior, she managed the state prison system for offenders with mental illness.  There, Anne observed that those incarcerated with mental health issues tended to stay in jail longer due to prolonged behavioral issues that were not adequately treated. Once at the health department, Anne instituted and led system change that allowed those with mental health issues charged with a crime to be diverted to a special mental health court.  She worked with the Bellingham Municipal and Whatcom County court systems to ensure that both the prosecutor and the public defender were part of the program.

Additionally, Anne managed the Ground Level Response and Coordinated Engagement (GRACE) program, which is a system to get those with needs directed to correct support and treatment organizations.  The program was a massive success; thanks to GRACE, there was a 95% reduction in jail stays by those with identified mental health issues.

Using the National Health Prevention, Intervention, Treatment, Aftercare (PITA) Continuum System, Anne assembled a forum of community leaders and providers to ensure an interconnected continuum of care including housing and associated onsite services, behavioral health, substance abuse care, all seven school districts, and the local jail system.

Anne created a fund and infrastructure program that provides services including case manager support to indigent veterans.  She worked with the housing department to obtain housing vouchers for vets. 

Anne’s efforts changed county code and under her leadership, the health dept won an award for health department of the year.

One of Anne’s proudest and most recent accomplishments is the creation of the crisis stabilization center.  It meets specific medical/health care needs and assists in receiving mental health support without the high costs of medical centers.  The crisis stabilization center maintains a standalone 32 bed treatment unit that provides mental health stabilization and detox stabilization.  Most importantly, the program creates a support plan including a discharge plan and avoids releasing those in need without additional support.

Anne is a true pillar of the community and is recognized and honored by her peers and contemporaries.  More importantly, the gratitude of countless community members in need that have been helped by her efforts cannot be truly quantified.  It is our honor to recognize Anne with the Legacy Award.

Thank you for your years of service. We wish you well into your retirement!

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which Anne is recognized, click here.

Connected! Young Influencers: Jazmin Carpenter, Wil Henkel, Kiera Hillaire, and Oliver Trulock

Connected! Young Influencers:
Jazmin Carpenter, Wil Henkel, Kiera Hillaire, and Oliver Trulock

2021 Community Building Award Recipient

Our final recipients of the evening are all young adults, whose efforts across two years inspired and taught a nation, as well as our organization about the importance of youth engagement in peer focused mental well-being efforts.

Each of these individuals has their own journey of pain and triumph that united them as champions for youth mental wellbeing.

Kiera’s passion focused on bullying and cyberbullying. Her work is used with the Lummi Behavioral Health Programs, and she has presented a seminar on the issue.

As high schoolers, Oliver and Wil initiated the peer centered support (PCS) and peer centered outreach (PCO) model, which in 2021 has been adopted across all Bellingham high schools; and activated change in the school community.

Jazmin, knowing the impact of losing a loved one to death by suicide, is one of the longest-standing volunteers with the MAD HOPE youth suicide and mental wellbeing program.

Bringing their stories and strengths, they united in the Connected! Project, a nation-wide effort hosted by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, the nation’s premier mental health and substance use recovery association. The larger aim was to explore and learn how youth engagement can positively make change to address and destigmatize mental health.  As “young influencers” they represented diverse efforts happening in Whatcom County and emerged new strategies to promote youth engagement in peer mental well-being.

The team developed the local trusted adult campaign, which included a youth art contest, trusted adult e-card campaign, youth-led trusted adult workshops, social media outreach and a bus ad campaign to promote the role of trusted adults in the lives of youth.

The team strategized about the importance of creative outlets such as art, music, and poetry for youth to metabolize their pressure, stress and big emotions. 

The concept of a zine was developed and brought to fruition by other youth recruited to engage in the broader effort.  While Covid-19 thwarted big plans—concerts, gaming tournaments, etc., but instead “let’s chalk about it” art efforts and outreach through neighborhood “little libraries” emerged.

As Covid forced an online format shift, the young influencers improved the MAD HOPE youth suicide prevention curriculum. This focused on increasing inclusion of cultures for populations with higher health disparity regarding suicidal thinking and action. 

The overall experience was rare, but if expanded and sustained, the model to grow youth engagement, increase youth leadership and save lives is boundless.

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which Oliver, Kiera, Jazmin and Wil are recognized, click here.

Deana Ottum

Deana Ottum

2021 Community Building Award Recipient

There are many different ways that people are called into community building.  For Deana, it was the love and care of her son, who began experiencing mental health issues in middle school.  She took him to family classes (a life changing time, she noted), but he eventually aged out of a lot of the support systems in place at the time. 

Though the University of Washington has one of the best First Episodes programs in the country, they had no presence in the North Sound region, so she had to drive him to Seattle to get help.  Since then, Deana has worked to increase and improve mental health services for her son and others in our community.

Two years ago, she started the Whatcom Serious Mental Illness Coalition to advocate for the equal treatment of those struggling with mental health.  In conjunction with NAMI Whatcom, she has worked to bring together police, sheriffs, EMTs, Health Care Authority representatives, the health department and the Grace Project to find resources and create mental health safety in Whatcom County. 

She has facilitated the family to family program with NAMI Whatcom, and has been a resource for families who have children struggling with mental health. 

Through these efforts, she has created a network for families to have a safe and supportive group of people they can go to for help and self-care. 

This Community Building Award recognizes Deana for her time and efforts to provide much needed services to Whatcom County.

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which Deana is recognized, click here.

NWIC Center for Health Native Connections Program

Northwest Indian College Center for Health
Native Connections Program

2021 Community Building Award Recipient

The Northwest Indian College Center for Health, Native Connections Program conducted research to identify 24 coast-Salish “protective factors” that span across 4 themes: family, individual, spirituality, and community. They use those protective factors as the keystone for their strength-based prevention programs to provide health and wellness options to members of the local community, specifically youth.

These programs include suicide prevention, drug and substance abuse prevention, and events such as the annual “walking with our ancestors” program. Over the years, walking with our ancestors has grown through partnerships with the Lummi Culture Department and Summer Youth Program to include 60 community youth visiting Orcas Island. At this youth gathering event, local native facilitators communicate through storytelling and teaching “schelangen” meaning ‘our way of life’. Additionally, youth and program partners engaged in a cultural history program about clam digging and the history of the water and its provisions as a protective factor.

Through grants, the Center for Health supports many native programs focused on Lummi Nation and provides some support to Swinomish and Upper Skagit nations.

We are honored to recognize the Northwest Indian College Center for Health, Native Connections Program for their strength-based and care-focused efforts.

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which the NWIC Center for Health, Native Connections Program is recognized, click here.

THE SCIENCE & POWER HOPE

Hope Centered and Trauma Informed – Learn how you can build hope for yourself and others!

DATE: May 25, 2021
TIME: 12:00PM—4:00PM
LOCATION: Virtual Event

Hope is real, hope is measurable, and hope is malleable. Youth who demonstrate higher hope:

  • Do better in school
  • Report less substance use
  • Experience less anxiety and depression

Learn how motivation and pathways are keys to achieving goals and experiencing a better life.

Featuring: Dr. Chan Hellman
Chan Hellman, Ph.D., is a professor, quantitative psychologist, and the Director of The Hope Research Center at the University of Oklahoma. He has studied hope and resilience for more than 15 years.

TO REGISTER
The sponsors have made this event FREE for you.
Register at https://forms.gle/a6SKufBU8fg1cnpc9

Continuing Education Units and Clock Hours are available (pending approval). For questions, please contact AGeleyns@co.whatcom.wa.us

Connection Saves Lives: Youth Mental Wellbeing Webinar

From May 12, 2020, Washington State Essentials for Childhood lunchtime webinar series.

 

Decreasing depressive episodes and suicide attempts and completion are national goals in the HealthyPeople2020 plan and in the Health & Human Services Strategic Plan (https://www.hhs.gov/).

In Washington state, suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens 15 to 19 years old. According to the Washington Healthy Youth Survey (2018), 32% of eighth graders, 40% of 10th graders, and 41% of 12th graders felt so sad or hopeless for 2 weeks or more that they stopped doing their usual activities. 16% of 8th graders, 18% of 10th graders, and 18% of 12th graders reported making a suicide plan. (Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, https://www.k12.wa.us/ ).

Results from the Washington State Healthy Youth Survey show that youth mental health outcomes have gotten worse. From 2008 to 2018, an overall increase of 33% of youth reported feeling hopeless, an increase of 35% of youth reported suicidal thoughts and an increase of 39% of youth reported having a suicide plan ( http://www.askhys.net/).

In Whatcom County, WA, Whatcom Family & Community Network (WFCN), through programming of Whatcom Prevention Coalition (WPS) shared lived experience of addressing and promoting youth mental wellbeing and suicide prevention. The M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. (Making a Difference – Helping Other People Everywhere) Youth Suicide Prevention program, a partnership with WFCN, Bellingham Public Schools, Whatcom County Health Department and WPC was created with youth to address youth mental wellbeing through peer to peer interaction. Across nine years, M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. has developed curriculum for middle and high school youth and community audiences. In our work, we believe that “Connection Saves Lives!” (www.madhope.org).

In 2019, WPC was selected as one of five national pilot sites for the National Council on Behavioral Health’s (NCBH) Connected! Project. Connected! Focuses on youth engagement to address youth mental wellbeing peer to peer. Three Whatcom County young adults serve at national youth influencers as WFCN works to better engage youth in breaking down stigma, and providing resources and supports, especially for underserved youth who identify with four target populations: Rural youth, Native American youth, LQBTQ+ Youth and Hispanic/Latina/o/x youth.

The WPC/ M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. and Connected Team share about the county-wide efforts: A series of community conversations on youth mental health issues; a trusted adult campaign; new partnerships to grow community capacity and find solutions to the need for mental wellbeing supports as well as innovative youth-led efforts in school and community settings that open up new opportunities for resilience and hope for youth.

In this session, they share the journey, so far, to increase resilience and hope for youth and families on mental wellbeing and to balance this national concern with hope.

Presenters:

Wil Henkel, one of three Connected! Project National Youth Influencers with the NCBH at the WFCN pilot site, is freshmen at Western Washington University hoping to earn a degree in psychology at Fairhaven College. He is a M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. trainer and consultant for Bellingham Public Schools for a peer-centered outreach/peer-centered support program that was innovated by himself and fellow student and M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. volunteer during their senior year at Sehome High School. Wil is a youth advocate for mental wellbeing and youth engagement.

Lisa Moulds, M.A. WFCN, Prevention Program Manager, co-chairs the Whatcom Prevention Coalition and manages the M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. Youth Suicide Prevention partnership. Lisa’s relationship based approach to building resilience in community stems from expertise in developing community partnerships between University staff, students and Whatcom County social services and school district as director of WWU’s Center for Service Learning for 10 years. Prior to joining WFCN in 2017, she worked in the fields of domestic violence prevention, community information and assistance, and as a program manager within Woodring College of Education at WWU. Lisa is mother to Jamie, a freshmen at Arizona State University, who recently made the life transition from home to college, but now back to home–studying online thanks to COVID-19.

Danielle Humphreys, Youth Suicide and Mental Wellbeing Specialist is a recent addition to the WFCN/ M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. team. Danielle joined the M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. in October 2019 and brings a background in working with diverse youth in faith-based and environmental service settings. Danielle is a trainer and program manager and understands the protective factors associated with increasing wellbeing in the lives of youth. She is mother to three elementary aged school aged children, adapting to being at home for school for the remainder of the school year.

Kristi Slette, M.Ed, is Executive Director at Whatcom Family & Community Network, a community capacity building nonprofit focused on promoting wellbeing and convening & supporting neighborhoods and communities to build their capacity so children, youth and families thrive. Kristi is a leader and educator in the local social services field for the past 25 years. She’s served WFCN since late 2015. She is a trainer on NEARH (Neurobiology, Epigenetics, Adverse and Positive Childhood Experiences, Resilience and Hope) Sciences. She taught Human Services at WWU for 15 years, served as director of training with Washington Campus Compact; director of youth and volunteer services with the Mt. Baker Chapter of the American Red Cross, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer program with Whatcom Volunteer Center and brings expertise in leveraging relationships and resources to improve capacity toward solving complex community problems. Kristi is mom to two children, ages 14 and 16, who feel the stress of not being able to be with friends, miss playing the sports they love and are figuring out how to self-motivate for academics when technology offers more enticing content and connection.

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