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Local agencies band together to present at risk conference

Friday, July 31, 2009

Concern for the youth of Putnam County has prompted three local agencies to band together to present a conference focusing on addressing at risk behaviors.

The Putnam County United Way, Putnam County Hospital and Putnam County Chaplains have taken on the task of putting together a conference for local educators, organizations, parents and children on Oct. 27.

"Historically, the Putnam County Chaplains have presented a seminar in October. This year, it is going to be expanded to better meet the needs of the community," said Jennifer Bedwell, Clinic/Marketing Coordinator for Putnam County Hospital.

"We want this to be a community effort with as many organizations, educators and people participating as possible," she added.

Details for the event are still being arranged as far as the location and a finalized agenda. Some continuing education units will be available for a small fee.

"We do have a nationally known speaker, Naomi Haynes-Griffith, as our keynote speaker," said Putnam County United Way Executive Director David English.

One of the areas she is an expert in is in emotional abuse.

"There are now 14 states in the U.S. that recognize emotional abuse as a crime," English said. "Indiana is not one of them. This kind of abuse can have a devastating effect on kids and our keynote has stories to show what emotional abuse can do."

The conference will focus on two or three key issues this year and may include teenage pregnancy, drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse as well as other behaviors.

"Next year we'll look at two or three additional issues," said Bedwell. "We want to provide constant education and awareness for anybody who comes in contact with youth."

Young teenagers are not the only age group targeted. Persons from age 21-30 who have at risk behaviors are also included in the program.

A special session will be offered in the evening just for parents and children.

An area for local organizations and associations to pass out information will also be available at the event.

"We want to make sure people put the date on their calendar," said English. "This is such an important issue in our community. We want everyone who is interested to partner with us or attend this conference."

Any organizations, individuals or groups interested in helping or attending can contact English at 653-5638 or Bedwell at 655-2583, ext. 2. More information will be provided about the location and agenda prior to the event.

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What a great idea!

-- Posted by what_it's_worth on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 10:23 AM

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