Marion County Prevention Newsletter - Fall 2021

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Health Promotion & Prevention Pieces

Fall 2021

Prevention Newsletter - Fall 2021


Welcome to the Health Promotion & Prevention Newsletter, released by Marion County's Health Promotion & Prevention Team! Each quarter we highlight selected programs, share information about events & resources, and share ways to increase the health of ourselves, our families, and our community. Together, we can connect and come together to enhance the health of all communities in Marion County! Our hope is to increase communication with our many diverse partners, educators, parents, and communities. 


What's in this Article: Table of Contents

Upcoming Trainings | COVID-19


Public Health Training Organizations

Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network: A variety of health promotion and prevention focused webinars from health experts nationwide.

Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network: A variety of mental health specific webinars from health experts nationwide to reduce mental health stigma and increase resiliency across the lifespan. 

Chemeketa Community Wellness & Recovery Workshops: Through free online webinars, Chemeketa Community College hosts a variety of health and wellness subjects. 


Upcoming Trainings

Know of another organization that provides great trainings and want to share with our network? Let us know at



COVID-19 Updates

The Marion County COVID-19 Liaison Community Partner Calls occur every other Tuesday from 10:00-10:30am. These meetings are designed for community partners to receive updates about COVID-19 from Marion County Health & Human Services, and ask questions to our COVID-19 Liaison Team and Incident Commander.

COVID-19 Update

Email us at for more details. 

More COVID-19 Information

Upcoming COVID-19 testing events and vaccination information, as well as recent sharable materials, data, and more can be found on Marion County's COVID-19 information website. Together, we can increase vaccination rates, prevent COVID-19 illness, and return to a sense of normal!

Visit for more information

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September has been proclaimed Suicide Prevention Awareness Month locally in Marion County (see the proclamation through the video link below). This month is a time to reflect on the startling fact that as of 2019, suicide is the 8th leading cause of death in Oregon and the 10th leading cause of death overall in the U.S. Suicide afflicts us all, and can impact anyone, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, faith, or background. 

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month Proclamation

View the Proclamation Video at the Sept 1 Board Session, starting at minute 16:40

Click here for the video:


Those living with suicidal ideation often do not feel safe or know how to reach out for help. However, there is hope, even amidst the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected our mental health and well-being.

Here are 5 steps you can take to help a friend, family member, neighbor, student, coworker:



1. Ask: Asking the question “Are you thinking about suicide?” communicates that you’re open to speaking about suicide in a non-judgmental and supportive way. Asking in this direct, unbiased manner, can open the door for effective dialogue about their emotional pain.

Be There

2. Be There: This could mean being physically present for someone, speaking with them on the phone when you can, or any other way that shows support for the person at risk. Being there for someone with thoughts of suicide is life-saving. Increasing someone’s connectedness to others and limiting their isolation (both in the short and long-term) has shown to be a protective factor against suicide.

Keep Them Safe

3. Keep Them Safe: After the “Ask” step, and you’ve determined suicide is indeed being talked about, it’s important to find out a few things to establish immediate safety. Have they done anything to try to kill themselves before talking with you? Does the person experiencing thoughts of suicide know how they would kill themselves? Do they have a detailed plan? What sort of access do they have to their planned method? Knowing the answers to each of these questions can tell us a lot about the imminence and severity of danger the person is in. The more steps and pieces of a plan that are in place, the higher their severity of risk and their capability to enact their plan might be.

Help Them Connect

4. Help Them Connect: Helping someone with thoughts of suicide connect with ongoing supports can help them establish a safety net for those moments they find themselves in a crisis. We recommend saving these support resources on your phone.

Marion County Psychiatric Crisis Center: 503.585.4949
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.TALK (8255)3.
Crisis Text Line: 7417414
Trevor Project (LGBTQ+): 1.866.488.73865
Veteran Crisis Line: 1.800.273.8255
Senior Loneliness Line: 503.200.1633

Follow Up

5. Follow Up: After your initial contact with a person experiencing thoughts of suicide, and after you’ve connected them with the immediate support systems they need, make sure to follow-up with them to see how they’re doing. Leave a message, send a text, or give them a call. Studies have shown a reduction in the number of deaths by suicide when following up was involved.

For more info or to register for free suicide prevention training, please contact Scott Vu, Marion County Health & Human Services at


The Mid-Valley Suicide Prevention Coalition is another great place to find out more info and trainings:



Sept 15-Oct 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month

Written by: Megan Donecker MA, QMHP

Marion County Behavioral Health Diversity and Inclusion Strategist


Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the contributions and importance of Hispanics and Latinos to the United States and those American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. In Marion County, roughly 27% of the population identify as Hispanic and is the second largest ethnic group in the county.  

The theme this year is Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope. It invites us to celebrate Hispanic Heritage and to reflect on how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience and hope. It encourages us to reflect on all of the contributions Hispanics have made in the past, and will continue to make in the future. It is also a reminder that we are stronger together.


For more information, check out more here



Additional Resources:


Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity by Paola Ramos

Living Beyond Borders by Margarita Longoria

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Ted Talks

America Ferrera: My identity is a superpower–not an obstacle

Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez: What’s missing from the American immigrant narrative

Fernanda Ponce: What Being Hispanic and Latinx Means in the United States


Ask a Community Expert: Hailey Hulsey with HOME Youth Services

HOME Youth Services is a program with the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency. Their goal is to help young people find stability, success, and positive relationships. Our prevention team connected with Youth Navigator Hailey Hulsey with HOME Youth Services to get her insights on the positive work they are doing every day. 


What do you do with Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency (MWVCAA)?

Hailey is a Youth Navigator for HOME Youth Services, the Drop-In Center located at 625 Union St in downtown Salem, providing case management for youth age 11-18 experiencing homelessness in Marion and Polk County.

She manages many youth on her case load and is involved in many programs connected to MWVCAA. On a regular basis, she goes to homeless camps to connect with youth there, services various identification needs and social service needs, leads peer groups and a paid internship youth empowerment program called Backbone, and connects youth to other services with the HOME Drop In Center (such as daily meals, help with school work, and social activities).

Hailey Hulsey with HOME Youth Services


What do youth you service need to be successful?  

Stable housing is key. Hailey will try to reunit them at home, connect them with Taylors House (emergency housing), or help find another comfortable situation. This includes youth at homeless camps and couch surfing.

Youth may also need help with various services, such a help to replace birth certificates, ID cards, social security cards, or sign up for the Oregon Health Plan, the SNAP program (food stamps), and other qualifying programs. This could also include food boxes, hygiene supplies, school supplies need.   

Many youth experiencing homelessness also experience trauma. Providing empathetic and trauma-informed services is crucial. Patience is also important. Some youth don’t want help immediately, so it may take some time to make a difference. She is always available for her kids to call and text her, and she is there to listen!


What are some of the current challenges of your position?

Many homeless youth in need of identification or social services require parental consent. This can be difficult if the parents are hard to find or do not want to help. Regardless, Hailey helps her youth overcome this barrier to so they have the resources they need.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has also had an effect on Taylors House. Taylors House is the only youth emergency housing shelter between Albany and Portland. Due to the pandemic, they are only able to provide four beds. It also presents unique challenges finding more permanent housing as well. 


Do you have any campaigns coming up to connect to youth in need?

MWVCAA is creating resource pouches and sending them to schools throughout Marion and Polk County. They are also providing them to Salem Police. Over 2,000 brochures and 20,000 stickers have been created to support this project, and will continually be replaced as needed. These pouches make it easy for teachers and police officers to connect youth struggling to the right place.


Is there anything you want people to know about MWVCAA?

MWVCAA has a lot of resources for youth in need, regardless of parent income. Hailey loves what she does, and loves relating with youth she serves. If anyone has questions, you can contact her at:


In addition

  • HOME the drop in is open 365 days a year 12-7pm. We host Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. HOME also does Christmas presents during the Holidays. HOME has a shower, washer and dryer that youth can utilized.
  • The YAB "Backbone" is 15- 20 youth community board recognized through the CoC. They are youth ages 11-24 problem solving youth homelessness. These youth help write grants and the Mayor has requested to have dinner with the youth.


For more information, check out their website and follow them on Instragram and Facebook.


Home Youth Services


We would like to thank Hailey for her expertise! If you have more questions for Hailey or want to nominate another expert to spotlight for our Winter 2021 Prevention Newsletter released in December, contact us at

Community Spotlight: iRespect&Protect School Program

Youth in the Digital Age - iRespect&Protect's myWorth Program Promotes Positive Self-Worth to Middle Schoolers

iRespect&Protect Mission

Everyone is worthy of hopes and dreams, strong enough to encourage change in others, and able to find love outside of devices. These are some of many values and principles that make up the iRespect&Protect prevention program at Liberty House to raise awareness about the effects of device use in a young person’s life.

Liberty House as an organization is dedicated to the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect, and the promotion of health and hope in children, youth, families, and communities in Marion and Polk counties. In 2018, Liberty House enhanced it’s prevention services with support from The Ford Family Foundation. This brought together various community partners to create the iRespect&Protect program, with the mission to foster positive self-worth, promote healthy online choices, and encourage safe relationships in youth.


To accomplish this, iRespect&Protect has developed the myWorth school program for 6th grade health classrooms. Four 30-minute lessons will teach students that cell phones, the internet, and other traumas can have long term negative consequences to their mental health, physical health, their general well-being, and feelings of worth. By reminding students that their WORTH is constant, they can navigate the pressures of growing up in the digital age.


In the 2021-22 school year, many Salem-Keizer School District 6th grade health classes will participate in the program. However, the pilot program is available to all other school districts in Marion and Polk counties, and organizations serving youth as well.


To learn more about how myWorth, iRespect&Protect, and Liberty Houses’ prevention efforts, go to They would love to connect! They have training opportunities for individuals and organizations, and are looking to collaborate to best serve youth.


If you would like to nominate a community organization doing great work to spotlight for our Winter 2021 Prevention Newsletter, contact us at

iRespect&Protect Group Photo

Educators: Problem Gambling Toolkit & Video Competition for Teachers


The 2021 Problem Gambling & Behavioral Health Integration Toolkit comes with Incentives for Middle School Health Teachers


The Marion County Problem Gambling Prevention Program is pleased to announce the 2021 Problem Gambling & Behavioral Addictions Integration Toolkit to increase students’ awareness and education of behavioral disorders! For the 2021-22 school year, middle school health teachers in Marion County who use the toolkit can receive notebooks, pencils, and a $100 gift certificate for teacher supplies to support the classroom.


Click here for more information


The Oregon Healthy Teen and Student Wellness Survey data consistently reflects that youth engaging in risky behaviors like alcohol or marijuana consumption, report participating in gambling behaviors at higher rates then youth who are not using these substances. The link between gambling disorder and other addictive disorders has also been established.


This toolkit was created to support lessons on alcohol and other drugs in 7th and 8th grade. For years, school health classes have been providing effective lessons to prevent alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among teenagers. 

Problem Gambling & Behavioral Addictions Toolkit Cover

Now, middle school teachers have the option to include behavioral addictions and disorders (like Problem Gambling) into their lesson plans to expand upon student knowledge. 


Teachers have the option of choosing a variety of short lessons: 

Problem Gambling Toolkit Lessons


Incentives are provided on a first come, first serve basis. Go to for more information.




The 2021 Problem Gambling, Gaming & Substance Use Video Contest Challenges High School Youth!


Did you know gambling is an activity that carries risk? When someone develops a gambling problem, just like other addictions and disorders, they often also have a problem with alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs – or other problematic behaviors. We want to prevent this from happening so everyone lives healthy, purposeful lives and connect people who need help to resources.

The Marion County Problem Gambling Prevention Program is hosting a contest! For this contest, high school aged teenagers (14-18 years old) are invited to create a fun, youth driven video that spreads the positive message about healthy choices and addresses the risks and connections of alcohol use, drug use, and problem gambling.


Prizes are awarded to the top-3 finishers and their sponsoring organizations / classrooms. Submissions are due November 18th. 


Click here for more information


Video Contest Information

Health Joke of the Season

It is important for us to de-stress and take a deep breath, relax, and laugh. We hope this helps brighten up your day! 


Handwashing Comic 1
Handwashing Comic 2
Handwashing Comic 3

Bills that Passed the Legislature - Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana

The 2021 regular session of the Oregon Legislature has concluded with the passage of Bills and amendments that will affect policies, procedures, and enforcement of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco in Marion County and throughout the state.  


To learn more about engagement with the legislative process and link to the Oregon Legislative Information System, visit the Oregon State Legislature Citizen Engagement Page.

Oregon State Capitol Building

Below are a few of the noteworthy bills. Click on the bill number to learn more about it:



HB 2742 PASSED: Allows off-premise sales licenses to sell factory-sealed containers of beer that hold more than 7 gallons.


SB317A PASSED: Allows holder of full on-premises sales license to make retail sales of mixed drinks and single servings of wine in sealed containers for off-premises consumption. Defines "mixed drink" and "sealed container." Declares emergency, effective on passage.



HB 3000 PASSED: Restricts the sale of specific consumable hemp items to anyone under the age of 21. Consumable hemp items include anything that is made to eat, drink, or inhale.

With the growing popularity of these products, it is important that businesses are able to distinguish which products are off limits to minors; this is done by determining the amount of THC in milligrams (weight) in the products, not the overall percentage of THC contained in the product.

For more information, go to: CBD and Consumable Hemp Items: Information on No Sales to Minors (



SB 587  PASSED: Tobacco Retail Licensure (TRL) - Requires Department of Revenue to issue license tobacco and inhalant delivery systems that do not hold license or other authorization by city or local public health authority tobacco retail licensing.


What will the Oregon statewide TRL do?

  • Protects Youth: TRL is an evidence-based tobacco control measure, and it is particularly effective for preventing teen tobacco use. Research shows that most tobacco use begins during a person’s teenage years, but strong TRL policies can keep youth from buying tobacco products and can protect young Oregonians - particularly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth, from developing harmful habits.
  • Compliance: Ensures compliance with existing local laws and enforcing a tobacco tax, which is difficult for a public health system to do without a statewide TRL.
  • Fairness: Retailers of other age-restricted products in Oregon must be licensed. Oregon was one of the a few states left that did not have a statewide TRL - Oregon will be  catching up with rollout January 1, 2022.
  • Supports Local Businesses: TRL gives Local Public Health Authorities the ability to engage with local businesses, educate businesses about TRL, and train these businesses to comply with the law.


Interested to learn more about the rule adoption process?

The Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR) has convened a Rules Advisory Committee (RAC) to develop Oregon Administrative Rules to implement Senate Bill 587.

The RAC is an important part of the rule adoption process, and the Department wants to ensure affected stakeholders have the opportunity to provide input and suggestions during the development of the rules for this new program. The RAC will meet up to four times in September to discuss potential rule language and how that language will impact tobacco retailers and other stakeholders.

To listen to the meetings, you can join online or by phone. For more information go to: State of Oregon: About Us - Administrative rules. See RAC Meeting Tobacco Retail Licensure.

Parents Corner: Flavored E-Cigarettes Companies are Marketing to Youth


Do you know?

Companies are targeting you kids with Gummy bear, watermelon wave, peach green tea, lemon tart, blue slushie... sounds like delicious flavors of candy, right?


WRONG: These are just a few of the flavors Big Tobacco uses to advertise their nicotine vaping products. Flavors like these are designed for one market - kids. It’s part of the reason 3.6 million middle and high school students currently use e-cigarettes. The tobacco industry spends $100 million a year to hook our kids.

Flavored E-Cigarette Products Marketed to Youth


In Oregon we are fighting back and it is working! 

E-cigarette maker Juul Labs agreed to pay North Carolina $40 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed the company’s marketing practices encouraged teenagers to vape.


In a letter to acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Janet Woodcock, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, along with Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum, urged the agency to prohibit all non-tobacco flavors, including menthol, in e-cigarettes. He also called on the FDA to limit the amount of nicotine in e-cigarette products and impose marketing restrictions to prevent appealing to young people.


To read the letter and the full report from the New York Times go to: Juul to Pay North Carolina $40 Million to Settle Teen Vaping Suit


To learn more about e-cigarettes and how you can contribute, visit: 

Educators & Parents: Having the Conversation about Legalized Marijuana

With recreational marijuana now legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia, more parents and educators are concerned about youth marijuana use. Chances are you’ve faced many of these questions:

End Addiction Image
  • "How do I respond if my child says, ‘what's the big deal - it's legal, so it must be safe’?"
  • "How will I know if my teen is consuming edibles or using a vape when there isn't the usual smell?"
  • "How concerned should I be if they are only smoking pot once in a while?"

Know the facts! Click here to learn more about the risk of marijuana use for youth.


Having the conversation with youth about marijuana use before they consider doing it is the best way to prevent youth use. The “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign aims to reduce underage substance use among youths under the age of 21 by providing parents and caregivers with information and resources they need to address prevention and use.

Learn about resources to prevent underaged marijuana use, including an application to help start the conversation, tips to talk to teens, videos going over scenarios, and more.

Talk. They Hear You.

Educators: Support is Available from Willamette Education Service District

Willamette Education Service District (WESD) located in Salem serves all nine school districts in Marion County. WESD offers a number of free and paid prevention services, consultations, and trainings for all school districts in Marion County. Specifically, Behavioral Safety (formerly Theat) Assessment/Sexual Incident Response, Bullying Prevention, Crisis Response, Family Support Advocates, Mental Health & Behavior, SEL, and Suicide Prevention.

WESD serves schools in Marion, Polk, and Yamhill Counties


For further information, please contact:

Helpful Tips for Heat Safety

Heat Illness Prevention Icons


While summer is winding down, hot days like today are still on the forecast. We want to share some resources to help you stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay informed:

More information will be released in the 2022 Summer edition of the Prevention Newsletter, released in June. Wishing everyone a healthy, and cool fall!

December 2021 Newsletter Preview

Marion County Health Promotion & Prevention will be highlighting various programs to keep you connected to the most important Health Promotion Topics in Winter 2021. If there is a subject you would like covered, please let us know through the email below.