Searching for Answers: A SoHum Forum on Creating a Healthy Environment for Teens

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As a community with roots deep in the illegal marijuana trade, questions have always been asked about the effect of this on our growing youth.  On the one hand, our community produces delightful, independent, service oriented young people like Emma Worldpeace and on the other hand, youth who die in seemingly horrifically large numbers.  In an effort to gather information and jump start a conversation on “on teen health and wellness,” Emma Worldpeace is helping to organize and energize a discussion that will “focus on prevention of death among youth in our community through creating and supporting yourth programs.”

Live Music provided by rapper, Subliminal Sabotage,, and snacks  integrate fun into the youth based event.  See the flyer below for more information.


Youth Alive!, a community forum on teen health and wellness, will take place March 13th from 5:30-8:00 at the Women’s Civic Club in Garberville.  The forum is an extension of Healing Arts Alive!, and will be followed by a free performance by members of Subliminal Sabotage.

All ages are welcome, and particularly teens & twenty-somethings (and their allies) that have the energy and investment to launch and participate in projects in the coming months. After a group survey on death among youth in Southern Humboldt, we will break into topic circles to discuss and action plan for prevention through youth programs, intervention strategies and healthy grieving.

Circle topics that will be present are: Outdoor Adventures (mountain biking, rafting, hiking, rock climbing, surfing), Motor Cycle Riding, Mental Health/Suicide Prevention, Teenage Grief Team, Volunteer Fire Fighters/Emergency First Responders, Impaired Driving, Youth Arts Week-Spring into Arts!, Parents of Teens, SFHS Library/Community Learning Center.

Attendees are encouraged to bring ideas for specific projects that they would like to engage in or create in Southern Humboldt. The forum is meant to be an energizing starting point. The goal is to create opportunities for teens and twenties to engage with their community and find inspiration, as well as to connect youth with their allies in the community.

This event is inspired by the research and action of Emma Worldpeace and is sponsored by GrandMothers Circle and SoHum Family Resource Center.


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8 comments

  • Wonderful. Being new to the community I am beginning to see some of this dichotomy you mention and I often wonder how to most help kids and teens chose a direction that brings life instead of death.

    Fantastic photo, as always. I sometimes desire a “real” camera, but then I wouldn’t have an excuse 🙂

  • cool stuff, young people need opportunities to express themselves, especially if it is to each other.

  • Note Nocturnal Nomad just pointed out that Emma wrote her senior thesis “on death among youth in Southern Humboldt for her senior thesis.” I hadn’t know that, I would love to read it. Emma, can you send me a copy?

    You can see it Nocturnal Nomad’s post here. http://nocturnalnomad.blogspot.com/2009/03/youth-alive-in-garberville-this-friday.html

  • The story at the link was very interesting. I imagine for the kids in the community it is hard to differentiate between those that grow and those that use. If the community accepts (if only tacitly) the growers then why shouldn’t it accept the users?

    It would seem that they are receiving something of a mixed message.

    And….beautiful photo. Probably not what you want to hear, but it reminds me of the B1 bomber.

  • An update to this story: I was invited by Emma to chair one of the round table work groups at this event. It was VERY well attended, I estimated at least a hundred people. There was standing room only most of the night. A broad spectrum of the community turned out: VFD representatives, teachers, therapists, business owners, war vets, parents and even teenagers. There was an opening introduction in which we were invited to dedicate our work to a young person we’d lost, and many tears were shed as name after name was called out after the moment of silence. Emma presented her research with the confidence and sincerity that is emblematic of her presence, and the statistics staggered even those among us who already sensed that our area has a disproportionate number of violent deaths among teens. Acknowledging and discussing openly this subject is a challenge in itself, but the real work lies in addressing solutions. Smaller units broke off to brainstorm about services and resources to make available to our youth. These included grief counseling, parent support teams, motorcycle racing, arts, vocational training, etc. The group I was lucky to be part of was focused on outdoor adventures. We had people with interests in rafting, kayaking, biking, hiking, horseback riding and nature photography. Young people willing to rally interest and organize trips and adults willing to lead, drive, supply equipment, etc. We networked the Teen Center with the South Fork Mt Bike club with the Ropes Course in Leggett with public health workers with trail builders…. it was very inspiring. I’m so happy to be able to collaborate with enthusiastic and dedicated people, and I’m optimistic for the future of the community as my own child moves closer to adolescence here.

  • Kato, I’m so sorry I couldn’t come. This sounds like it was so productive and fun.

  • The FUN is yet to COME! I’ll keep you posted on upcoming ‘adventures’ and maybe your teen would be interested, too…

  • Please do. I think he would.

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