• News and Publications

  • 2017 Community Champion Recognition and Conference

    Over 100 people attended the APW workshop held on April 27 at Grassy Hill Country Club in Orange. Guest speaker Chris Parrott talked about the effects of social media on children’s brains and on their behavior.
    Seven Community Champions were honored and given commemorative Wheaties boxes. The honorees included Teresa Spencer of Derby, Pat Lahaza of Oxford, Allison Kernan of Fairfield, Ethan Stutheit of Shelton, Julia Markarian of Shelton and Kim and Hope Burrows of Milford.

  • APW Sponsors Recovery Coach Academy

    Through Special Needs funding from Valley United Way, 30 Valley residents completed a 30- hour Recovery Coach Academy course held at Griffin Hospital.
    During the 10 week course, participants learned skills to support and advocate for friends and family members who are recovering from a substance use disorder.
    Carol Cruz, Recovery Support Specialist, was the course facilitator.

  • Oxford Public Schools Hosts “Mental Health First Aid”

    Lorrie McFarland and Pam Mautte provided Mental Health First Aid Training for Oxford Middle and High School staff on March 24, 2017. 42 teachers, social workers and guidance staff became certified.
    “The Mental Health First Aid training is the best professional development activity I have ever attended in my 23 years as a public educator and mental health professional. The content was presented in an extremely thorough manner, but also in a manner that was easy to understand and apply immediately to my professional practice.” Ken

  • Adolescent Brief Screening, Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (A-SBIRT) Training

  • APW staff provided Adolescent Brief Screening, Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (A-SBIRT) training for the Valley Parish Nurses in April 2016. A-SBIRT is a comprehensive health promotion approach for delivering early intervention and treatment services to adolescents with, or at risk of developing, alcohol use or substance use disorders. The Parish Nurses will use the SBIRT screening tool while providing routine health screenings to the community on Griffin Hospital’s Mobile Health Resource Van.

    APW along with Derby and Ansonia Youth Service’s staff began a pilot program in August to provide an interview-based screening for all 9th grade students in Derby and Ansonia High School about the use of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs. This screening utilizes the research based substance use screening tool for adolescents known as SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment). Students who are not using substances will have their healthy choices reinforced by the screener. The screener will provide brief feedback to any student who reports using substances or is at risk for future substance use. If needed, the student will be referred their guidance department for further evaluation. Results team.
    There is no need for problem recognition or for the student to “admit” to a problem for them to benefit from SBIRT. SBIRT takes a non-judgmental and collaborative approach to which students tend to respond very positively.
    SBIRT is non-invasive, and students’ answers are strictly confidential; they are not shared with teachers or made available for disciplinary action. SBIRT is not about getting kids in trouble, it is about giving them good advice or getting them help if they need it.
    Substance use is:
    • Common
    • Risky
    • Often undetected
    And most importantly, students do not recognize the impact of substance use on their health, and brain development.