Coalitions in Action: St. Luke’s Coalition for Drug Free Youth Emphasizes Mutli-Sector Collaboration

 

Located in the Treasure Valley of southwest Idaho, St. Luke’s Coalition for Drug Free Youth (SLCDFY) praises strong sector involvement for their successful campaigns. One of their most successful is the Emotional Intelligence Training Kit provided to school administrators, counselors, and health teachers to increase emotional regulation and resiliency of youth with researched key findings of the correlation between substance abuse and low emotional intelligence.

“The training kits provide information to assist educators and school counselors to understand the importance of emotional intelligence in the schools and implement activities to increase emotional intelligence in youth,” said Karen Davis, Coordinator at St. Luke’s Coalition for Drug Free Youth.

The kits begin with a letter of introduction to emotional intelligence, along with key research findings that correlate low emotional intelligence with substance abuse, poor school attendance and performance; high emotional intelligence leads to a greater chance of success and happiness in all areas of life. The coalition provides the kits in hard copy, including a binder and USB drive designed with the SLCDFY logo.

Fruitland Middle School Principal Shane Burrup stated: “I found Toni Arnzen, our counselor and teacher, uses the Emotional Intelligence Kit to give her students weekly lessons. We’re pleased with the information this kit provides our teachers.”

“SLCDFY achievements stem from a step-by-step process for a powerful force of positive camaraderie within our coalition members and community sector representatives,” said Davis. “Today, we have a coalition team based on friendship with positive community support and appreciation. SLCDFY has fun, productive meetings where we share in brainstorming of new ideas, implementation of evidence-based projects in our schools and at community events.”

SLCDFY serves three rural communities in southwest Idaho: Fruitland, Payette and Washington County, a population of approximately 17,600 people. Davis notes that much like the rest of the nation, all three of the coalition’s family-oriented communities have experienced substance abuse problems. For example, one prescription drug abuse situation garnered national attention with the arson of a school principal’s home caused by angry youth in retaliation for their school suspension.

“Communication skills play an important role in any successful program. The Friendship Factor bonds the work within the coalition and motivates assistance from community members,” said Davis. “It’s the caring heart which creates the powerful energy for environmental change through people working together for a common goal and ensures community involvement. It’s the caring heart that help to prevent substance abuse and motivates successful coalitions!”