The Harwich Fund of The Cape Cod Foundation has awarded $1,500 to Behavioral Health Innovators to underwrite a one-of-a-kind speaker series for students at Monomoy Regional High School to help them understand and circumvent addiction.
The specific goals of the program are to teach students about the teenage brain and the biology of addiction, the problems of self-medication with substances, and ways to avoid substance use.
“Vulnerable teens with substance use challenges and related mental health conditions are suffering in our communities every day,” noted Stephanie Briody, founder of Behavioral Health Innovators. “They were even more challenged by the isolation imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. With funding from The Harwich Fund and The Chatham Fund of The Cape Cod Foundation, this series will get students to explore substance use, learn why kids pick it up, and understand how easy it is to get on the ramp to addiction. It will also let them know about the RecoveryBuild APG program that is offered at no cost to the teens and families in our community.”
Briody launched Recovery Build APG (Alternative Peer Group) two years ago in partnership with Duffy Health Center of Hyannis. It is built on a model of very successful alternative peer groups in Texas, where licensed professionals and recovery coaches offer real life experiences and ways to handle the challenges of substances, peer pressure, depression, anxiety and other stressors common to this age group.
Sheila House, president of the board of Behavioral Health Innovators, says that this concept is new to this area and helps teenagers learn to develop a healthy lifestyle in order to maintain abstinence from substances.
To date, The Harwich Fund has awarded almost $10,000 to nonprofits serving Harwich residents.
To donate to The Harwich Fund, visit harwichfund.org or send a check payable to The Harwich Fund to The Cape Cod Foundation, 261 Whites Path, Unit 2, South Yarmouth, MA, 02664