Agency for Change- Teri Effle, Prevention Specialist with Region V Systems » KidGlov

Announcer:

Welcome to Agency for Change, the podcast that brings you the stories of people creating positive change in the world. We explore what inspires these changemakers, the work they’re doing, and how they share their message. Each of us can play a part in change. And these are the people who show us how.

Kelley Peterson:

Hello, fellow changemakers. This is Kelley Peterson, nonprofit creative director from KidGlov. Welcome to another episode of the Agency for Change podcast. Today, I have the opportunity to talk with Teri Effle, Prevention Specialist from Region 5 Systems. Region 5 Systems is one of six behavioral health regions in Nebraska that coordinates and oversees the delivery of a full range of behavioral health services to youth and adults in a 16-county area. Teri is part of a team that leads the Regional Prevention Coalition that focuses on preventing the abuse of alcohol and other drugs for all ages through forming and supporting local community coalitions, which sustain a statewide prevention system. I can’t wait to learn more about the prevention efforts happening in Region 5. Teri, how are you today?

Teri Effle:

I am fantastic, Kelley. Thank you so much for having me.

Kelley Peterson:

You bet. Every county in Southeast Nebraska has a coalition leading the charge to reduce substance abuse and promote positive mental health in their area. Tell us about what some local community coalitions are up to.

Teri Effle:

Sure. So because of the pandemic, everybody has had to pivot what they were able to deliver. And I’ve been so impressed with how agile it’s turned out that we are. Everybody just hopped from meeting in person to meeting online, and everybody’s now a Zoom expert. We have a whole new set of skills that we didn’t have this time almost exactly last year. So, in some respects that will probably continue. We are based, our offices, are in Lincoln and some of our farther flung counties are two hours away. To get to Falls City, if you’re driving the speed limit, is about an hour and 45 minutes. And so it’s just easier for people from down there to Zoom. And so I don’t know that we won’t just keep some of that.

Teri Effle:

And so much of what we’ve done has pulled online. Service delivery and online, they’re doing other types of group meetings that are happening online or youth board is meeting online. But some stuff is still happening live. In one of our counties, one of our mini grants is funding a Whispering Tails, I think is what it’s called. And she’ll call me on it if that’s not correct, but she does equine therapy. And so they only stopped riding when it snowed 15 inches. She has kids come out, and there are kids on diversion and kids with special needs, and kids who just call and need extra support, and they work with horses and sometimes they ride and sometimes it’s just about doing the care. She only quit when the snow was too deep for the horses to manage. Otherwise, they’ve been doing this the whole entire time.

Teri Effle:

And then other things have focused on being online. Lancaster County worked on the Talk heart2heart website and the Talk heart2heart social on Facebook and Instagram. And it’s really pushed out some great content that probably wouldn’t have happened had we not had the year we’ve had, because we would have been more focused on some live service delivery. So, we’ve put out some neat stuff that will continue to be a benefit because we have the chance to think differently about, how can we get stuff into people’s hands? Like where are they? They’re online. So well, let’s put everything online. It’s been a wide range of things and it’s been neat to watch how creative people can be when they have to be.

Kelley Peterson:

Well, you definitely said some key words that I’ve heard during the pandemic. And one of those key words is pivot, and you’ve been doing some amazing pivoting over time. I love to hear the stories all the way from being outdoors with horses, to taking it online and being in people’s homes with really important messages. And so talking about those messages, awareness and education are always key to prevention.

Teri Effle:

For sure.

Kelley Peterson:

And I can imagine that the pandemic has made the need for prevention, awareness, and education even more prevalent. You spoke a little bit about that, but how are you sharing these important messages during this time?

Teri Effle:

Sure. So probably the biggest focus for the last couple of years has been parents, which was fortuitous because then everybody went home. So that’s who they’re with more than anyone else as families are together and really asking parents to be intentional. We have known for years and years, I’ve done prevention on and off for 25 years now, and so we’ve always known that parents were key in helping their kids build their own foundation of standards to live by. So, we tackled really asking parents to be intentional about their family standards and to articulate those with their kids and to actually have conversations. And it’s less about a list of rules and more about . . . Because people will tend to want to go there because it’s easy to stick a list of rules somewhere and say, “This is what we’re going to do,” but it’s harder to enforce, you break the rule, you have a consequence and that kind of thing.

Teri Effle:

This is really about a conversation and, how will your standards and values serve you and help you to be the person that you want to be? And so it really is more about a conversation than a rule or a consequence. So in order to do that, I have to be living it. A standard is something everybody in the family lives up to. So there’s a little bit more skin in the game for everybody because I also have to be living up to the standard in whatever way is appropriate for me as an adult to be living up to the standard. And then I’m accountable to everybody in the household, my kids, if I’m parenting with a partner, then the other adults in the home, so then everybody is accountable. So, our messaging has really centered around that and that’s pulled some fun conversations into light about more than just substances, about mental health, about things like consent. We’ve had some fun conversations with people since we started having these conversations about family standards.

Kelley Peterson:

I love the idea of conversations, especially like the one we’re even having today.

Teri Effle:

Yeah.

Kelley Peterson:

When you think about, you mentioned something about rules, and it’s true, rules seem so one-sided, one party putting those out there and not a lot of conversation or accountability back and forth about it. So I think that’s really important work. And, of course being a parent myself, it definitely rings true when I hear about those conversations. And you’re right, what could start as a hard conversation might end up being a good one for everybody just because you put it all out there.

Teri Effle:

Yeah, almost always.

Kelley Peterson:

And I promise our conversation won’t all be about COVID, but I do have some more COVID questions.

Teri Effle:

It’s where we are. It’s fine. We expect some things because of a weird year.

Kelley Peterson:

It’s our world.

Teri Effle:

I know.

Kelley Peterson:

So, the thing about our world and COVID-19 is that it also has increased risky behaviors for kids, that they exhibit sometimes out of being bored or stuck in the house. How are your efforts addressing alcohol, drug abuse, mental health, risky behaviors, all of those things, and youth right now?

Teri Effle:

Yeah. So it’s less about that COVID has changed things. I guess if I had to pick something I was most concerned about, I’m most concerned about mental health, it’s been a long grind. And I know how I feel and I have great days, then I have not so great days, and then I have days that are just kind of off the rails altogether, where I just can’t get it together, and it feels like this is never going to end. So if I, as an adult, with lots of tools in my toolbox, feel that way, then you have to know that kids who are still developing their toolboxes are going to have to feel that way, and kids who maybe have support or don’t have support. So my biggest concern is about mental health. And I think the fallout will go on long past the end of the pandemic. And I think it will probably not have a sharp end, I think it’ll just trail on and on. So I have concerns mostly about mental health, and addressing that in a way that makes sense for young people, especially.

Teri Effle:

And I think a lot of substance use concerns for kids roll out of mental health concerns, like all of that stuff is tangled up together. And it’s really difficult to pull that apart. And that’s true, no matter what age you are, those things travel together a lot. So our strategies haven’t so much changed. There have been things that have cropped up that are new, that we haven’t had to deal with before. As a for instance, there are cities that will allow youth to purchase alcohol to-go now, which was probably a necessary thing for some restaurants and bars to stay alive, to stay open through the pandemic because you couldn’t gather there. So, you can purchase cocktails, where before that you couldn’t have an on-sale, off-sale, it was against the rules. And with grocery stores and Instacart and those kinds of things, ballooned in popularity and use for that stuff just became, household, like, everybody does it, it just became something everybody did.

Teri Effle:

And so, when I pick up groceries, if I have alcohol in the order, to comply with the law, all they have to do is have somebody old enough check it out. It’s just not the same for the orders paid for online and all those things, but anybody can go pick that up. I can send my 16-year-old, I could send my whoever, and there’s not necessarily a policy in place about checking ID for the person who’s picking up the grocery order. Which, it’s a pandemic. So who is thinking about that? It didn’t even occur to us until far into the whole thing. We were like, oh, that’s kind of odd. We should be checking that out. Who’s paying attention to, if the kid has a debit card and they can make the order. So those kinds of things popped up that are new. And so that’s a matter of educating for owners and checking IDs and that’s an education piece for just . . . It’s an awareness piece, an education piece, another parenting piece.

Teri Effle:

And I don’t think that, and maybe I’m a Pollyanna, but I don’t think most kids are out to, they’re not going to get you. Like that’s not, they’re not out there planning a takeover or anything like that. So that kind of stuff just slipped by you. And so those sorts of things are popped up where we’re like, oh, that has sort of changed. That’s a new thing we now have to address and figure out, how will we protect young people and how will we protect the grocery industry? And what can we do to make sure that the laws are followed and everybody is safe and nothing more happens. There’re some tragedies, but mostly my concerns are about mental health and making sure that people get the help that they need and have access to the resources that are out there.

Teri Effle:

Lincoln is resource heavy. We’re fortunate in this part of the state that there’s lots and lots of resources for people to access. So it’s really about making sure people know what those are and feel like they have what they need to access those things, because that will continue to be a struggle, I think for people, as we move through the coming months.

 

Kelley Peterson:

There’s such pros to that, and you’ve opened my eyes. I didn’t even think of the con of getting your groceries.

Teri Effle:

It’s hard, you know.

Kelley Peterson:

Here I am thinking, never thought of that. And I’m sure a lot of other parents and things have never thought of that, too. And sometimes I know, in my own childhood, when you get away with something once, well, I might try that one again.

Teri Effle:

I know. Entrepreneurial young person, I’m sure. I was like, this is great, they’re out there.

Kelley Peterson:

It just goes with those helpful things. The next thing we are going to talk about is that helpful, and on occasion, not so helpful thing called technology. And so another big piece of your prevention efforts is focused on teaching kids and parents healthy boundaries with technology. Tell me more about this.

Teri Effle:

We loved this project. A school social worker actually contacted Sandy, the leader of our team at Region 5 Systems for prevention and said, “I’m really worried about kids and technology and they’re not sleeping and they’re on technology all the time.” And so she brought that to the Lancaster Prevention Coalition, and we had a conversation. Gretchen, that social worker, came and visited with us and it was kind of a spirited talk. Not everybody agreed necessarily, that it wasn’t about technology being bad, and we were struck by the tension between everybody’s on their tech now all the time, we’re working from home and we’re on Zoom 24 hours a day, and the kids are on Zoom eight hours a day. And how are you going to look at them, looking up from your Zoom meeting and saying, put your phone down, when you are still on your tech and they’re looking at you going, “Right, make me, because you’re on Zoom too. You can’t. You’re over there stuck on camera, you can’t do anything to me.”

Teri Effle:

So how do you strike . . . How do you get the tension right about technology use and what that is? KidGlov did a great job of helping us develop a guidebook, and it’s geared towards little kids about getting technology just right. And thinking about it in terms of, six scoops of ice cream on an ice cream cone is probably too much ice cream versus a reasonable amount of ice cream at one scoop. Which I was like, what? really one scoop, maybe two scoops, but a reasonable amount of ice cream is just right. And the same as it’s like eating a whole pizza is probably too much pizza, but one piece of pizza is a reasonable amount. And I thought everybody will understand that’s bad.  And technology is very much the same. It will never go away. I think sometimes when we long for the good old days, it’s impractical to think that that will ever be, that we really want that back because do you really want to give up Netflix, really? I feel like you don’t really want to do that. Or do you really want to give up your cell phone or texting or, I don’t know that we really, really want to give those things up.

Teri Effle:

So, what does it look like to find the balance or the tension between having relationships in real time and then also using technology for all the things that it’s good for? And technology can be good for a relationship as well, but it can’t be a substitute for a relationship. It too easily becomes a crutch or something that we go to all the time. And then we, all of a sudden, are not doing well. So, we put out the guidebook, there’s resources on talkheart2heart.org. It’s on the front page, you can download it, you can print it. We’re going to see if some of our faith partners, they’re teams that are working in several congregations, if they want to do some of that technology balance stuff in their kids’ ministries.  The families will do it together and work through some of that and have some of those conversations and start young.  Have those conversations at kindergarten, first, second grade before it becomes a fight, because those conversations will be conversations when they’re younger. The older you are, the more fraught that territory becomes, and the more it will become a tension, it will become a more tense conversation because it just will.

Teri Effle:

And then you’re saying . . .

Kelley Peterson:

I know. And what you talked about earlier, it’s where those rules start kind of rearing their ugly heads. And it ends up being something that possibly a teen might really like, and then it’s turned into a punishment and that’s really hard in life.

Teri Effle:

Right. It’s a little hard. And if they think that my go-to response will be to take their phone away, I think we really have to think that through. Sometimes it’s, if you can’t handle it, then you shouldn’t have it. I mean, that’s the foundational, you can only have access to this if I feel like you can handle it and can be appropriate with it. But if my go-to response is to take it away from you, then I think that shuts down communication. And will you come to me if you have a concern or if something is happening? We know lots of trafficking happens through technology. So, will they come to me and say, “Hey, this is weird” if they know my knee-jerk response will be to just take it away.

Teri Effle:

So it really is a balancing act for us to help them figure out how to navigate and be wise with their technology use, because if our knee-jerk reaction is to shut it down and take it away, then I think what will happen is they’ll just quit talking. And that’s not where we’re headed. I don’t think, in most cases, that’s not what we want them to do.

Kelley Peterson:

Such great points. I loved how you started, saying that you were in a conversation with the Coalition and it was a spirited talk. And I love that explanation of it. And I also love the thought of getting technology just right. So, after this campaign had launched, I really thought to myself, sometimes when I had a long Zoom day, it feels like I just over-aged, I need a big carton of Ben and Jerry’s right now. So I can relate to that. And I think it’s adults and kids are like that. We can just purposely or not purposely overindulge on technology in a lot of ways. But speaking of youth, I mentioned the purpose of the Regional Prevention Coalition in the introduction. However, an additional purpose is coordinating the regional Youth Action Board. Tell us more about YAB.

Teri Effle:

YAB, I love them. So the overall purpose of YAB is to have representation from each county come together, and they coordinate youth prevention efforts for Region 5. And sometimes we have somebody from every county, and sometimes we miss a couple of counties, and sometimes we have heavy representation from one county or another, it swings to and fro from year to year. It’s been going for a long, long time, long before I became a part of the region’s team three years ago. They are meeting virtually now. It is this year, it’s all girls, and so the team is all female and we are having the time of our life, like it’s pretty fun. And that wasn’t on purpose, it just kind of shook out that way. Last year, there was one lone guy, he was the token male, the poor thing had to represent for the entire half of the population. And so yeah, this time around, it was all girls, they’re meeting virtually.

Teri Effle:

And kids are just the heroes of this whole messy year. Every disappointment that we’ve had with holidays and things that we thought would happen that didn’t, and just on and on and on, all the things that have happened that we didn’t expect, they’ve experienced. And on top of that, they’ve had to pivot with no input, with school, with activities, with the unknown, with all of that, and they are just champions. I’m continually impressed with their positivity and their willingness to think outside the box, and they floor me and they make me want to be a better human, because if they can do it, then for sure, I should be able to do it. They normally plan a couple of big events, red-white tailgate, which happens at the spring game. And so that won’t happen because there’s not, that spring game isn’t going to look the same at all.

Teri Effle:

And then they have an event called June Jam, which happens out at SCC, Southeast Community College, Milford. And we’re waiting to see. I think Milford is trying to decide, are they going to be able to . . . Will summer be late enough into the vaccinations? Will it be a safe time for people to be able to gather? So they’re tentatively planning for June Jam this year. It will be one day, and normally it’s an overnight. It will look a little bit different, but they’re planning for it and they do all of it. They choose speakers, they choose themes, they put together the whole entire program. They are kicking around inviting the Set Me Free project from Omaha. It’ll be fun to have a local speaker. Set Me Free did some virtual stuff with us last year when we had to cancel at the last 11th hour, we couldn’t have June Jam because of the pandemic. They came online and did Instagram live with us and were delightful. And the kids were like, it would be fun to have them back, their energy was good and we would love to have that positive energy and also that education angle.

Teri Effle:

So they are so thoughtful and so smart about how they want to put stuff together and then not afraid to speak their minds about what they think their peers need right now, they were pretty clear, we’re kind of done talking about the pandemic and we would just like it to be as normal as possible. If we get to have June Jam, we just want to come together and celebrate. And so we really try to honor that and we’re hopeful that it will get to go forward. It will go forward, it will happen. If it doesn’t happen this year, it will happen next year. But we really want to honor the fact that they’re just ready to be kids again and get together and gather and giggle and have a good time and be silly.

 

 

 

Kelley Peterson:

So important, all of those things.  I have such great phrases that you’ve said, over our few minutes that we’ve already talked.  That kids are heroes is a concept I really enjoyed hearing and it’s so true. I hope that the giggling commences sooner than later.

 

Teri Effle:

Me too.

 

Kelley Peterson:

So YAB is a perfect example that the Prevention Coalition has done so much to prevent the use of alcohol and drugs in Southeast Nebraska. What are some of the greatest stories you have heard that demonstrate the outcome of your work?

 

Teri Effle:

Wow. Prevention’s funny, because how do you prove that you stopped something? So, it’s always hard to capture the close call or the . . . Like how do you know that you stopped something cold? YAB is a good example. I love listening to them talk about . . . These are really resilient, young people, and to hear them talk about the reasons they made the decisions they made to make healthy choices and not only that, but to encourage their friends to make healthy choices and they make tough life decisions. There’s a young lady who’d been on the board who talked about having to let go of a friend because she was like, “She’s starting to use. And it started with vaping and now it’s turned into other things, and I just don’t think that I can hang out with her, and I don’t think it’s safe.” And I thought, wow, that’s a lot of wisdom at 14 or 15. I mean, she was young when she was telling us this.

Teri Effle:

And so if we could bottle that up and figure out how to sprinkle that around everywhere, I think we’d be a richer society for it. That’s the kind of stuff that I would love to spread far and wide. Those stories are so important. And that’s what happens when parents are on board and are really, not only sharing what I want for you, I, as a parent, want this for you as my young person, but I’m also taking care of my own health, and I can’t take you further than I’ve ever been. So I love when parents get healthy for the sake of their kids, whether that’s mental health or they stop using, and get healthy addiction-wise, if they get into recovery or those kinds of things. So I love when families strive to be well, and then that can look like lots and lots of things.

Teri Effle:

And I love the faith partners program in Lancaster County that has thrived through the pandemic somehow. We started it right before we all went into lockdown and then it just continued to thrive. It went from nothing to 12 different churches that are developing teams of laypeople who just want to work on wellness within the congregation and wellness can look like lots of things. They want to work with parents who want to work on family standards with their kids. They want to work on just general mental health wellness within the congregation for whoever feels like they need it. So 12 churches are working on that and that has all happened since COVID hit.

 

Teri Effle:

That will only continue to grow as we come out of that and life resumes, because nobody’s meeting. So there are churches online for the most part and there’s no programming or very little programming. And they’ve pulled all of that off virtually. And so that just makes me so hopeful. And then that’s probably one of my favorite things that I’ve been involved with since I’ve been a part of the region, because I just think that’s fantastic and a testament to human resiliency and the desire to see people thrive and be well.

Kelley Peterson:

I think you mentioned that earlier too, that maybe because of this time these things happened, and they may not have if it wasn’t . . .so bringing those faith partners together and maybe that’s a big pro of all of this. And I also like what you said about wellness and that wellness can be a lot of things. And that’s what I think that the faith partners and the entire Prevention Coalition is doing, is getting people what they need when they need it on their terms. So wellness can mean a lot of things. But let’s switch gears and talk about your wellness, your life wellness, about your story. How did your path lead you to do this kind of work, Teri?

Teri Effle:

Right. So I had a wild origin story. There was substance use on both sides of my family further back. And so we carried that forward into my growing up years. I always knew that I wanted to help. I thought I wanted to be a psychiatrist when I was in high school. I grew up here in Lincoln and I went to Cathedral and then Pius, the 10th High School. And so I really thought that’s what I wanted to do. And in college, I got all the way through to my senior year of college, and then I took my first clinical class, to become a therapist. And I thought, oh, my word, nobody wants to hear from me. I’m 22 and I don’t know anything about anything and, probably not. So, I went and saw my advisor and said, “I’ve made a huge mistake. I don’t want to do research because I’m terrible at math, and I don’t think I want to be a clinician.” And he was like, “Oh, you might be in the wrong place.” And I go, “Well, I think so.”

Teri Effle:

And so he said, “I think maybe what you’re looking for is family science.” And so we switched majors at the very last minute and it was so right. I went to family science and thought, these are my people. This is where I was supposed to be from the get-go. And so that’s what steered me into nonprofit. And I went to a small nonprofit here in town that was substance use funded through Region 5. So I’ve had a long, long relationship with Region 5 Systems all through my career, and did work with the schools in town. And then at the end of my tenure there, we had started on coalitions. And at the very last couple of years, the coalition work had already started so I got to be a part of it then, at the very beginning of all of that becoming a thing in the United States.

Teri Effle:

And then I went to ministry in a large church here in town and I was a parent coach and taught parenting classes and did a family life ministry for eight years. And then the Region called and said, “Would you ever consider coming back?” And I said, “I would. I think I would consider coming back.” And so it was kind of a full circle kind of thing that drew me back into Systems. So Region 5 Systems, they work at a level where they’re providing funds and providing technical assistance. And I’ve kind of stair-stepped all the way up from being somebody who’s providing the services, all the way up to someone who is helping provide funds and the assistance to figure out how to build a system on a larger level.

Teri Effle:

And so it’s been a fun career path to follow. I knew I would always be in . . . I have to help, I will always be in a helping profession, and I will always love prevention and mental health and the working toward wellness. Whether it’s volunteering or working, I’ll always be connected in some way, shape, or form to those things. So I knew I would always somehow be tied into those things, but I didn’t expect that I would come back and do coalition work. So yeah, it’s been a fast 25 years. Now when I look back, I go 25 years, I’m like, are you serious? Can I have been doing something for 25 years? But I can. The math works. I’m terrible at it, but that’s how we got here.

Kelley Peterson:

Oh, that is a great story. And you’re so good at what you do because of all those previous experiences, for sure. All of the worlds that build up the prevention world, and that makes you incredibly strong at what you do. So what advice do you have for leaders who want to inspire change?

Teri Effle:

So, when I was considering advice . . . Advice is so hard, because you think, oh my gosh. So, my favorite advice and the advice that runs around in some of my email signatures is, “You didn’t come this far to only come this far.” And I love that because I feel like this is work that will never be done and there will always be the next thing, there’ll always be the next crazy thing we didn’t know was coming, like, oh, we’ve got to watch out for Instacart, and how that gets delivered, and those kinds of things. So the work is never going to be finished, and there will always be people who look at it and say, “Well, it doesn’t make any difference, or you’re never going to make a difference to everybody, and so why are you even bothering?” And so you have to remember that every part of your story has brought you to this place so that you can be a part of their story now. And you never know.

Teri Effle:

I think sometimes we want to forecast what will happen and you really can only look back and say, “Oh, wow, look at the story, look at the painting that’s been left behind” and you just have to look forward to the future with a sense of hoping and trust to do the next right thing, and take the next step forward, and do the work. I don’t know that anybody who’s a changemaker thought that that’s what they would be doing. When you hear people talk about the people I admire, who are writing about changemakers and leadership, like Renee Brown and people who write about that are like, I had no idea, we hit every branch on the way down and just did our best, and here’s our lessons learned, and don’t let fear stop you. Please just keep pressing forward and move with that, know that that will pay off.

Kelley Peterson:

Well, for not thinking you had any good advice, I think that was pure gold.

Teri Effle:

Thank you.

Kelley Peterson:

Pure gold. So getting a little more succinct in your pure gold thoughts, can you give us a few of your own words of wisdom that could serve as inspiration to our listeners?

Teri Effle:

I would say, “You didn’t come this far only to come this far.”

Kelley Peterson:

I just loved that. Just love it. So for our listeners, who would like to learn more about your work, how can they find out more about the Prevention Coalition?

Teri Effle:

Well, I would encourage anybody who’s curious to visit talkheart2heart.org. So, it’s talk heart and then the number two, heart.org. Had we known that, I would have thought that through better, because you have to explain the number two, but there’s tons and tons of work that the community has done on that site. And you can also search for Region 5 Systems. We also have a website and our training calendars on there. Region 5 does provide a lot of free training and we do mental health first aid every month. And right now, that’s virtual. You can sign up and take the class virtually, and it’s six-hours, it’s a long one, but it’s excellent. If you are a lay person who just wants to know more about mental health or how you can be of help to someone who might be struggling, it’s a great class to take.

Teri Effle:

And then we also do QPR, Question Persuade Refer, which is suicide prevention, which is one of my favorite programs to train. And you can sign up for that virtually through the website as well. So yeah, there’s lots of resources out there. You can search either one of those things. The building will probably, we’re closed to the public now, but we’re really hopeful that that won’t be the case for much longer. And so you can reach us by phone and still receive services. And we hope to be open, back to the building and we will be open soon for the public.

Kelley Peterson:

I do too. And speaking of your . . . I wish I would have thought of that more and being the marketer that I am, I love talkheart2heart.org because you do have to explain it.

Teri Effle:

That’s so true.

Kelley Peterson:

You get to have more attention and more thoughts about someone thinking about you and being a little bit more disruptive than if they just quickly got it. So I like the work of that.

Teri Effle:

So, it is disruptive . . . see you taught me that.

Kelley Peterson:

It gives you a little bit more of a foot in the door to tell more of your story when you have to explain it that way. So there’s my marketing soapbox for the day.

 

Teri Effle:

I will use that from now on. From now going forward, that’s how I’ll explain.

Kelley Peterson:

I just got to tell you more about our organization and tie a little bit . . . You owned a little bit more of their brain space for a longer period of time to get them to digest it, and they actually might type it.

Teri Effle:

No problem, Kelley.

Kelley Peterson:

That’s what I’m hoping for. So as we wrap up our time today, Teri, what is the most important thing you would like our listeners to remember about the Prevention Coalition?

Teri Effle:

That we are here to serve you, and really, it’s just made up of folks, and anybody’s welcome to be a part of it. And you can find ways to contact people. So, because we’re in lots of counties, you can find ways to contact the people in the county you’re in on the website. And we are the people we’ve been waiting for. So I think we think, well, it’s the experts or it’s the agency, and it’s really not. The conversation’s richer because just people who are interested show up to do the work and then to have the conversations, and that makes us much, much stronger. So I would just invite anyone who has any interest at all in wellness and mental health and substance use prevention, or any of those kinds of things to jump in and get involved and be a part of the work that we’re doing, because it belongs to all of us.

 

Kelley Peterson:

There you went again and said another awesome quote. We are the people we’ve been waiting for.

Teri Effle:

Yeah. that belongs to someone else. I’m just not sure who said it. So, I’ve heard it . . .

Kelley Peterson:

Well I love it in correlation to this because it’s so true, you have the people at the table who are going to do the work and have the thoughtfulness and all of those things because they’re there.

Teri Effle:

Yeah.

Kelley Peterson:

They have a passion for it and want to be there and be part of the conversation. So I love that quote, whether it’s yours or not. So Teri, thank you for having this heart to heart conversation with me today. I enjoyed hearing about the Prevention Coalition and how it reduces substance abuse and promotes positive mental health throughout Region 5. And I just want to say again, thank you so much for joining me today.

Teri Effle:

Well, my pleasure. Thank you so much, Kelley.

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