ASYSST Celebrates Law Enforcement Day

January 9, 2020 was Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Thanks to our School Security Coordinator, Don Ellison, for connecting us with retired local, law enforcement officer, George Cahill.  Mr. Cahill also works for the Ewing High School district, and agreed to speak with our students in observance of the day. Our goal was to host a discussion about bridging the relationship gap between law en...
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ASYSST GOES BEYOND SCHOOL WALLS

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Several ASYSST Members met the staff on Saturday December 28 at Preferred Care Nursing and Rehab Center to meet and greet a group of nursing home residents for a combined art project. The initiative was spearheaded by Shakita Johnson ( youth development specialits) who organized New Year stencils and colored pencils and markers. Students strategically sat at the tables with the residents and engaged in friendly "chit chat" while coloring.  The residents enjoyed the opportunity to interact with students and vice versa.  90 year old resident Esther P. quipped "They are such well behaved kids, they can visit us anytime". 16 year old ASYSST Student Morris reported " I learned a lot from the seniors... I really liked doing this!"

Program Director Gregory Smith said  "Our hope is to engage the students from ASYSST in similar projects in the future as a way to learn to give back and in the process receive so much more"

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An Evening Full of Celebration and Enjoyment

On Thursday December 5, 2019, Mercer Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction hosted a company holiday dinner. The evening was filled with an abundance of good food, good friends, and good times. This exquisite event was not only a time of gathering and reflection, but also a time of appreciation. Mercer Council celebrated each other with heart-filled words of affirmation that was shared by the Me...
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Mercer Council and Kiefer Landscaping Break Ground -- Stay Tuned for an Exciting Announcement

Flag-pole-crop Kiefer Landscaping and Mercer Council Executive Team
Matt Kiefer, owner of Kiefer Landscaping, and longstanding Board Member of the Mercer Council, planned and implemented the beginning stages of an exciting new project that the Mercer Council will begin developing in the new year.   Matt has tapped into his craft to leave a lasting impact on the Mercer Council grounds and on the critical prevention work we do, and lives we touch.  We...
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Center For Family Services Peer Provider Integration Training for Mercer County OORP Program - December 2019

Peer-Provider-Integration-Training-Photo-Cropped Peer Provider Integration Training 12-5-2019
On December 5th 2019, the Center For Family Services sponsored a workshop entitled "Creating An Infrastructure That Supports Peer Provider Integration Into Traditional Service Delivery" at the Burlington County Emergency Services Education complex in Westampton NJ. As a Peer Specialist working for MCADA on the Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP), I was fortunate to be able to attend this train...
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Reaching New Bounds

On Monday, December 2nd, 2019, New Pod City’s, Trenton Waves podcast, featured me and my affiliation with Mercer Council and the Trenton Municipal Alliance Committee. Below is the link to the conversation- it is funny, weird, and gets crazy at certain parts, but in its authenticity there were moments of interesting dialogue between myself and the hosts (Frank and Christina). One moment that should...
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The Great American Smokeout

On the third Thursday of November, every year for more than 40 years, there has been an event called the Great American Smokeout. This tradition emerged from an effort started in 1970, where a man named Arthur P. Mullaney asked his town to give up smoking for a day and donate the money they would have used on cigarettes on a high school scholarship. Several other efforts followed, and Califor...
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STRENGTHENING FAMILIES PROGRAM

On October 24th and 25th, I had the pleasure of being trained in the Strengthening Families Program (SPF). It was an intense two day training that was powerful and informative. It is a program that is very easy to follow and one that I am sure is very rewarding for the families and the facilitators when the program is completed.SFP is a 14- session evidenced based family skills training program. T...
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'Trick or treat'? Tobacco Companies Use 'Tricky' Tactics to Target Youth... BOO!

IMG_0224-2 Happy Halloween from Malissa, who is our go to on Vaping education!
  Cotton candy, gummy bear, banana smash and mint. Enticing flavors tobacco companies are using to hook a new generation of kids to their products. A ploy they’ve been using for decades -- because it works. According to the 2019 Youth Tobacco Survey, 97% of youth e-cigarette users choose flavors and four out of five who have used tobacco started with a flavored product. That’s because fl...
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Happy Friday from some of our OORP team members!

Screenshot-10 From left to right: Jon, James, Stacey, David, Marc & Mike
Mercer Council Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP) team members met this afternoon for their November staff meeting.   OORP’s trained and uniquely qualified Recovery Specialists (Peers) are individuals with lived experience who are in recovery from substance related challenges. Peers are dispatched to Mercer County hospitals/emergency departments to meet bedside with i...
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New Drunk Driving Law in place for Convicted First Time Offenders

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A new drunk driving law is in effect that will require convicted first time offenders with a legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 to install ignition interlock devices as a means to stop them from driving while intoxicated. The new law also applies to individuals who refuse to provide a breath test after they are pulled over. Individuals convicted of drunk driving will be required to blo...
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Educational Leadership Presentation hosted by ASYSST Features Al Hall, CEO of Dream Catchers on October 16th

On Wednesday October 16, the ASYSST Program at Ewing High School Hosted an Educational Leadership Presentation, facilitated by Al Hall, CEO of Dream Catchers LLC., for the high school Freshman and Seniors while the juniors and sophomores were taking their PSAT exam.  The event  entitled "Being a Real Leader" was held in the auditorium and impacted nearly 400 students.  Some of the a...
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Mercer Council and the Prevention Coalition of Mercer County support DEA's 18th Take Back Day - taking back unwanted prescription drugs October 26 at police stations across the county

On Saturday, October 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 18th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to your local police station. (Sites cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or pat...
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Stronger Together! Mercer Council's 2nd Annual Benefit Luncheon & Silent Auction 2019

IMG_4556 Opening remarks by Executive Director Jocelyn Cooper
Mercer Council was moved by the generosity of community members in attendance at our 2nd Annual Benefit Luncheon and Silent Auction, held on September 24, 2019, at the Stone Terrace by John Henry's in Hamilton, NJ.  Various sectors of the community contributed to this event, including Luncheon attendees, donators, special guest speakers, dignitaries and sponsors.  Proceeds from...
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Vigil Honors Overdose Awareness Day

  A vigil in a local park will bring awareness to addiction while honoring the individuals and families of those battling the disease.  An Overdose Awareness Day vigil is set for Tuesday, August 27th at Woolsey Park in Hopewell Township.  The event starts at 5:30pm and includes guest speakers, grief and recovery support and a candlelight memorial.  This is the fourth annual Int...
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Campfire NJ Celebrates the Work of Mercer Council's Very Own, Barbara Sprechman

Campfire NJ Celebrates the Work of Mercer Council's Very Own, Barbara Sprechman (From left to right: Campfire NJ Executive Director Jessica Nitti, Mercer Council Assistant Director Barbara Sprechman and Campfire Associate Executive Director Kelly Nitti)
(Barbara Sprechman gives her Community Champion Acceptance Speech) Last night, I was privleged to have attended Campfire NJ's 19th annual Golf Outing Fundraiser.  Campfire is a wonderful organization that serves the youth of our communities in a variety of ways.  Because of their dedication to and passion for shaping our youth, they deserve to be supported and celebrated.  It was a ...
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Tackling Opioids Through Prevention for Athletes (TOP)

Athletes are more prone to injuries that could result in getting prescribed prescription opioids (narcotic pain relievers), which can lead to misuse, addiction, an even accidental overdose or death.  Mercer Council and the Prevention Coalition of Mercer County are working together to raise awareness of potential opioid use disorders among student athletes, and to provide evidence-based inform...
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Protecting You, Protecting Me

155-1550276_see-clipart-kids-kids-rainbow-clipart Successful Year for Protecting You, Protecting Me!
The 2018-2019 school year has concluded, and the Protecting You, Protecting Me (PYPM) alcohol use prevention program for grades K-5 was delivered to students at Washington Elementary School in Trenton, NJ. Over 300 students participated in PYPM, and all grades K-5 were reached! Thank you to all the staff and students who welcomed me into their school to provide this beneficial program! When asked ...
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"Governor Murphy Announces Free Naloxone Distribution Throughout New Jersey on June 18"

Please see the below message from Governor Phil Murphy. This is an amazing chance to take advantage of an opportunity to be equipped with this critical life saving medication!  For more information Click here.
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Save-the-date International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held one day during the last week in August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.  Knowing the real facts about drugs and what to do ...
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