Marion County Prevention Newsletter - Winter 2021-22

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Health Promotion & Prevention Pieces

Winter 2021-2022

Prevention Newsletter Winter 2021-2022


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. 


Quick Link: High School Video Contest Winners Announced!

What's in this Article: Table of Contents

Upcoming Trainings | COVID-19 | ILead Youth Summit


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. 


Trainings of Interest: 

  1. Dec 9: Schools and Prevention Professionals Working Together to Create Trauma-Responsive Environments
  2. Dec 14: Understanding and Addressing the Social Determinants of Health in Prevention
  3. Dec 14 (10:30am PST): Media Impact on Youth Gambling Behavior
  4. Dec 15: On-the-Spot Discussion Panel on Behavioral Health Equity and Prevention
  5. Dec 15: Unraveling the Mystery of U.S. Alcohol Regulations
  6. Dec 16: Incorporating Environmental Strategies into Prevention: Expanding Our Reach and Addressing Health Disparities
  7. Jan 12 & 19: 2 Part Series, Prevention for Criminal Justice-Involved Populations 
  8. Jan 19: School Mental Health Cultural Inclusiveness and Equity Part 1: How Social Injustices Impact Student Mental Health
  9. Jan 20: Estrategias para la Planificación de la Colaboración en Prevención
  10. Jan 21: Helping Our Communities Thrive in the Face of COVID-19
  11. Jan 27 - Feb 17: 4 Part Series, Building Grant Writing Skills for Successful Funding Application

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



COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 booster doses authorized for everyone 18+ years old

Everyone age 18 and older is now eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free. Pharmacies, health clinics, and other vaccine providers in Oregon are administering boosters. In Marion County, getting your vaccine and booster is easier than ever.


Click here for walk-up and appointment opportunities

Booster Eligibility Image


The COVID-19 Pfizer Vaccine is available for children and teenagers 5-17

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and free for youth age 5-17. The FDA granted emergency use authorization on Nov 3, 2021 after rigorous safety testing and extensive review. Children 5-11 receive a 'pediatric' dose, while teenagers 12-17 receive an adult dose. As of Dec 7, 12.9% of children 5-11 in Marion County have started their vaccine series, far below the current state average of 23.8%. 


Click here for walk-up and appointment opportunities

Pediatric Vaccine Image


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



ILead Youth Leadership Summit - December 11th!

High school youth are highly encouraged to sign up for the ILead Youth Leadership Summit on December 11th. Don't miss out on this great opportunity! For more and to sign-up:

ILead Youth Leadership Summit Image

High School Video Contest Winners Announced!


The Marion County Problem Gambling Prevention Program is pleased to announce winners of the 2021 Problem Gambling, Gaming, and Substance Use Video Contest!


In 2021, the Marion County Problem Gambling Prevention Program received special grant funding to raise awareness about the connections between problem gambling, gaming, and substance use among middle and high school youth. We asked high school teenagers in Marion County to use their creativity and video production skills to create thought provoking videos that would relate to their peers in middle and high school, and their community. 


The videos were posted on Facebook for voting between November 26th - December 6th at 12:00pm in a friendly online voting competition 👍❤️😯


These votes were combined with a panel of expert judges in Health Promotion and Prevention who rated videos based educational content, messaging, creativity, and video production 🏫✨📹 


Three finalists have been chosen and we are excited to announce the winners!


Unveiling Winners GIF Image


1st Place!

The winner of the 2021 Problem Gambling, Gaming, and Substance Use Video Contest is "Reach Out," submitted by Hayden Grow and Nate Harmon from Sprague High School. Their video follows a student who loses money and self-confidence by gambling, considers coping with the stress of his losses by using substances, but ultimately chooses a positive healthy alternative with new friends instead.


Congratulations on your selection as the winner! Hayden and Nate will receive a $500 prize for the great work on their submitted video, and their video production class will also receive a $500 prize for sponsoring them! Check out their video here.

Reach Out Video Image



2nd Place Runner-Up!

"The Gamblers Redemption" was selected as an official Consolation Prize Winner, submitted by Isaac Ramirez and Elizabeth Guzman Martinez from Early College High School. Their video follows a student who gambles too much, contemplates stealing, and in the end ultimately chooses to seek help. Isaac and Elizabeth will receive a $250 prize for their great work, and their video production class will receive $250 for sponsoring them. 

Gamblers Redemption



3rd Place Runner-Up!

"Negative Habits" was selected as an official Consolation Prize Winner, submitted by Dakota Dunagan, Leonardo Zavala, Isaia Galindo Lopez, and Angel Prado from McNary High School. Their educational video suggests that youth should choose positive, Natural Highs over negative habits like gambling or drug use. Dakota, Leonardo, Isaia, and Angel will receive a $250 prize for their great work, and their digital media productions class will receive $250 for sponsoring them. 

Negative Habits Video Image


A huge congratulations on your selections by the community and the expert judges panel!



Honorable Mentions:

Many other great finalists submitted videos that we would like to highlight! Check out their videos by clicking on the Pictures and Titles below:


Online Gambling Animation Image

"Online Gambling Animation" was submitted by Ayden from Regis High School. This animated video imagines the main character - who is playing a gambling application on a tablet - physically inside the application and losing big. 

The Effects of Gambling Video Image

"The Effects of Gambling" was submitted by Courtnie and Lyndsey from Early College High School. Their video follows siblings who develop a gambling problem to cope with difficulties in life.

Oblivion Video Image

"Oblivion" was submitted by Mary and Faith from McNary High School. Their video follows a students' misfortunes throughout a day at school - causing them to cope with substance use and overdose.

Failed Connections Video Image

"Failed Connections" was submitted by Bryton, Ethan, and Darius from Sprague High School. Their documentary styled video follows three people's stories to overcome alcohol, drug, and gambling addictions. 


Thank you to the teachers and classes that promoted this educational project, and the students who put together great videos! Our entire Health Promotion & Prevention Team at Marion County are so incredibly proud of the great work from all our video finalists!



These videos will support the Marion County Middle School Problem Gambling & Behavioral Addictions Integration Toolkit!


This toolkit was created to support lessons on alcohol and other drugs in 7th and 8th grade. It is available for any teacher or educator to use for FREE. 


Notebooks, pencils, and a $100 gift certificate to a teacher supply store are still available for middle school teachers who use this toolkit. Go to for more information.

Problem Gambling & Behavioral Addictions Toolkit Cover

Winter Wellness

Winter and the holiday season are upon us, and this time of year can be simultaneously full of joy and stress. Taking time to care for your physical and emotional needs during this season can help you stay healthy and well. Here are 13 tips for staying healthy this winter!

Winter Wellness Image
  1. Wash your hands often to help prevent the spread of germs 🧼🖐
  2. When going outside, bundle up to stay dry and warm ❄️🧣
  3. Don’t drink and drive, or let others drink and drive 🚓😔
  4. Be tobacco free, and encourage those around you to do the same 🚭❤️
  5. Talk with your healthcare provider about any exams and/or vaccinations that you may need 👩‍⚕️💉
  6. Prepare food safely - wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures, and refrigerate food and leftovers properly 🍗😋
  7. Manage your stress - give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, or out of control 😰🚩
  8. Watch your news and social media intake - if you feel negatively impacted by the news or social media, limit your time and engage in a more rewarding activity 📰🚴
  9. Use caution while walking in the dark by wearing bright clothing or reflectors 🔦✨
  10. If you are driving in the dark, use caution and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists - be aware of icy conditions. Wear your seatbelt when driving or riding in a motor vehicle 🚗🚶
  11. Stay grounded by sticking to a routine - even though the holidays can be chaotic, try to do something every day that you would normally do ✔️😊
  12. Intentionally schedule self-care throughout the winter - figure out what supports your emotional wellness, commit to it, and schedule it in your calendar 🗓️🛀
  13. Get outside, when weather permits. Take a nature walk, do yard work, go ice skating - exercise of any kind is great for your body and mind! 🌲⛷️
Winter Wellness 2 Image

Healthy Holidays - Recipes & Activities


Heart Healthy Meals & Recipes from the American Heart Association

Delicious, simple, affordable, and quick cooking that is good for your heart and your wallet. Looking to spice up your winter with a Siraracha-Glazed Chicken and Paprika Butternut Squash? What about a seasonally inspired Indian-Spiced Pumpkin-Apple Soup? Or maybe a quick and easy Caramel Toffee Fruit Kebabs for the family?


The American Heart Association has heart healthy appetizers, meals, side dishes, desserts, salads, snacks, soups, and beverages to fit your lifestyle. 


Click here to find a recipe today!


Healthy Meals Image


Activities open this winter

Get your extra steps in this holiday season by participating in local holiday activities!

  1. Support local craftswomen and craftsmen at holiday markets in Salem Dec 10-12 and Silverton throughout Dec.
  2. Walk the free Keizer holiday light show nightly from 6-10pm until Dec 26th. 
  3. Tighten your mudding boots and take the family down to a local U-Cut Tree Farm.
  4. Visit any of the open Marion County Parks! *Note Salem Falls, Bear Creek, North Fork, Niagara, and Minto are closed due to wildfire damage*
  5. Visit any other parks in or nearby Marion County.

Ask a Community Expert: Holly Dalton & Cassie Stafford with Willamette ESD

Ready Schools Image

The Willamette ESD is one of 19 education service districts (ESD) in Oregon. ESDs work to provide school districts with a wide array of educational programs and services, many of which are too costly or limited in demand for a single district.

Holly Dalton and Cassie Stafford are on the Cross-Functional Equity, Inclusion, and Achievement team (CFEIA) to provide technical assistance and build local capacity to support each district's Student Investment Account (SIA) Plan. Their goal is to meet students' mental or behavioral health needs, improve academic outcomes, and reduce academic disparities for students of color, students with disabilities, emerging bilingual students, and students navigating poverty, houselessness, and foster care.


Welcome Holly Dalton, Senior Manager of Social Emotional & Early Learning & Cassie Stafford, Senior Manager of Mental Health & Behavior!


What do you do with the Willamette Education Service District (WESD)?

Mental Health Image

Cassie: I am the Senior Manager of Mental Health & Behavior. As part of the CFEIA team, myself and two education specialists use our experience and skills to support districts in  trauma informed and trauma sensitive practices. We support districts in the strengthening and maintenance of mental health, public health, and other community partnerships. And we engage districts in initiatives such as 321 Insight or Interconnected Systems Framework.

Holly: I am the Senior Manager of Social Emotional and Early Learning. My role focuses on supporting our 21 component school districts in meeting the promise of the Student Success Act in the critical areas of social and emotional and early learning.


What is social emotional learning and why is it important?

Cassie & Holly: Social emotional learning (SEL) largely is focused on ensuring that schools are encouraging, inclusive, and responsive environments where students, staff, and families experience safety, connection, and belonging. We (Cassie & Holly) often work together because helping students build SEL skills requires understanding how trauma impacts children’s development and behavior. I would say the pandemic has increased interest in the areas of SEL and trauma informed care.

Social Emotional Learning Image


What are some of the current challenges of your position? Is SEL a tough sell to teachers?

Cassie: All members of educational communities are maxed out right now - their ability to engage in technical assistance in the form of professional development outside their regular work hours is unrealistic. Mental and Behavioral Health needs are also way up with a limited workforce capacity. Both of these challenges require meeting districts where they are at, and thinking creatively about how to support students, staff, and families.

Holly: There is a huge need for SEL - it is selling itself. Our students are entering the classroom with higher needs than ever and educators want to be able to support them. The biggest issue is allowing enough time for training and support.


What are you long-term goals?

Holly: The long-term goals are to create the conditions that allow all students to feel safe, supported, and be successful. The WESD will be releasing SEL guidance and standards, starting in January. This will provide clarity and direction for the region.


Any parting words for teachers, parents, and the local community?

Cassie: We have all experienced a lot of stress over the last 3 school years and being a consistent, predictable, and regulated adult weaves a therapeutic web around our students, families, and communities and sets the foundation for healing. Our CFEIA team continues to emphasize developing meaningful support to our districts, students, families, and community's needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions:


Last question! If you had to pick, would you rather visit the northern lights in Norway in the winter, or a warm summery beach in the Bahamas?

Cassie: Definitely the Northern Lights in Norway! I traveled to Norway two times as a trip leader for Two Wheel View where we led teenagers on a bike touring trip in the Tromso area. Both times were in the summer, so no Northern Lights were visible.

Holly: A warm sunny beach in the Bahamas!



We would like to thank Holly & Cassie for their expertise! If you have more questions for Holly & Cassie or want to nominate another expert to spotlight for our Spring 2022 Prevention Newsletter released in March, contact us at

Healthy Jokes 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! 


Winter Snow Jokes

The Truth Initiatives' new vaping campaign: Depression Stick

The ”truth initiative” reveals their latest campaign highlighting yet additional health harms caused by vapes otherwise known as electronic cigarettes or e-cigs.

Depression Stick Image

You’ve have probably heard by now that youth vaping is still at epidemic levels and should be of high concern for parents, teachers, health care providers, and youth. When using vaping products youth are consuming and being exposed to harsh chemicals, such as nicotine and metals. It’s no surprise that using vaping products contribute to higher risk for chronic diseases such as asthma, heart disease, multiple cancers, and diabetes. But, did you know that vaping impacts mental health and well-being? Well it does!


According to a recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, the odds that a current e-cigarette user will receive a depression diagnosis are double those of people who have never vaped. The odds are even higher among current e-cigarette users who vape more often, compared to never users.


Please visit the truth initiative and share resources to those struggling with vaping, smoking, or mental wellness issues.


Watch Depression Stick video on YouTube - Gas Station:

Depression Stick Sales Video Image

Watch Depression Stick video on YouTube – Lobbyist:

Depression Stick Lobbyist Video Image

Seasonal Affective Disorder & Mental Health

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Winter is Here. Time for cozy sweaters and indulging in holiday food, drinks, and other traditions. But the cold, shorter days affect many people with a type of depression that is characterized by its recurrent seasonal pattern. Known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), it is more than just a case of the winter blues.


SAD typically occurs in the fall and winter months and goes away during rest of the year. Women tend to experience SAD four times more often than men and is more commonly seen in people living in northern latitudes. Symptoms of SAD are the same as those of depression. They can vary in severity and often interfere with personal relationships. If your symptoms are severe and have gone on for at least two winters, you might be affected by SAD.


~ Symptoms include ~

Winter SAD Image
  • Pervasively sad mood
  • Loss of interest
  • Social withdrawal (feeling like “hibernating”)
  • Fatigue
  • Overeating and craving for more carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Having problems with sleep, particularly oversleeping
  • Feeling hopeless or despair
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide


~ Treatment for SAD may include ~

  • Exposure to as much natural daylight as possible
  • Light Therapy: sitting daily in front of a UV filtered light box for 30-45 minutes
  • Intake of Vitamin D, since many people experiencing SAD have Vitamin D deficiency
  • Staying aerobically active
  • Avoid staying cooped inside the house and go outdoors
  • Psychotherapy
  • Antidepressant medications
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Talk to your health care provider about which treatment - or combination of treatments - is best for you. For tips on how to talk with your health care provider, refer to the National Institute of Mental Health fact sheet:


Taking Control of Your Mental Health: Tips for Talking With Your Health Care Provider


Sources: Seasonal affective disorder ( Blues vs. Seasonal Affective Disorder (Cleveland Clinic)

NIH SAD article: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

NEWS ALERT for Educators & Parents: Fentanyl Fake Pills Surging in US


Have you heard about Fentanyl?

Parents and teachers need to be aware of this dangerous emerging issue. Youth and young adult deaths from illegal fake pills with fentanyl are surging across the country and in Oregon. See the infographic for facts about fentanyl: 


Fentanyl Infographic


In September, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration(DEA)  issued a public safety alert on the sharp increase in fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine. From the alert, “‘The United States is facing an unprecedented crisis of overdose deaths fueled by illegally manufactured fentanyl and methamphetamine,’ said Anne Milgram, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.”


What can parents do? 

Communicate: Strive to keep the lines of communication open. Have regular, open conversations with kids about the risks of substance use and listen to what kids have to say. 

Monitor: Monitor social media use

Watch: Watch for behavior changes such as - 

  • Sudden or extreme change in friends, habits or school performance.
  • Irresponsible behavior, poor judgment or general lack of interest
  • Withdrawn from family or secretive behavior
  • Low energy or irregular sleeping patterns
  • New signs of depression or anxiety


Set an example by only using prescription medications prescribed for them and as directed by their health care provider.

For more information, including lesson plans for middle and high school classrooms, visit:

Grief during the Holidays

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Suffering the loss of a loved one at any time of the year is difficult, yet during a holiday those grieving often experience a more intense sense of loss. You may struggle to understand what the holidays should mean now that your loved one is not there.


Here are some steps the bereaved can take to prepare for the holidays:

  • Set Boundaries with Holiday Events: While there may be pressure to attend a holiday party or family gathering, remember to check in with your needs. It is also okay to opt-out of certain things altogether. Finding a balance between engaging and not pushing yourself is important.
  • Tune Into Your Grief Emotions: It is important to acknowledge your feelings and not avoid them. Be kind to yourself and remember that all feelings can coexist.
  • Plan Ahead to Fill Empty Holiday Roles: Loss often means that certain roles will need to be filled (e.g., Dad always cut the turkey). Planning ahead to consider who will fill those vacated roles can avoid unnecessary moments of grief and help make the experiences more fluid and enjoyable. Additionally, anxiety and anticipation leading up to the season can be more intense than the actual holidays. Planning ahead can also help lower anxiety. Once you’ve decided what you can and can’t do, share your decisions with friends and family.
  • Honor Old Traditions & Honor Memories: It can be helpful to continue with old traditions that existed in order to honor and celebrate the individuals who are no longer here. This is a helpful way to keep their memory present. Also, storytelling is a natural therapeutic way to celebrate their life and the relationship we've shared with them.



How to Cope with Grief During the Holidays: 8 Strategies (

Coping with grief and loss during the holidays - Harvard Health

The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families | Portland, OR

March 2022 Newsletter Preview

Marion County Health Promotion & Prevention will be highlighting various programs and health topics to keep you connected to the most important Health Promotion Topics in Spring 2022. If there is a subject you would like covered, please let us know through the email below.