Equipping the Community: N.C. Cooperative Extension of Pender County Presents Resilience and CRM Training

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Presenting at CRM training, EYFP

Pender County and Community Care of the Lower Cape Fear collaborated to present Community Resiliency Model (CRM) training for professionals and community members in Burgaw, NC, on Thursday, March 5, 2020. This community event was sponsored by N.C. 4-H Empowering Youth and Families Program (EYFP) through a SAMHSA grant. Traci Spencer, EYFP PA for Pender County, coordinated with program participants, Pender County Extension, and Community Care to provide this training free of charge to the public. CRM training was the second of a two-part community event that also included a screening of the film Resilience.

N.C. 4-H Empowering Youth and Families Program focuses on opioid prevention education for middle school youth and their caregivers. Pender County is one of eleven NC counties that currently offers the program. Programming is available for families twice a year, both spring and fall, and the goals of the program include reducing substance misuse in rural North Carolina, improving parenting skills of caregivers to assist youth in making healthy choices, improving family relationships, and empowering families to lead community change in order to leverage support for healthier lifestyles within those communities. Families share dinner, learn and practice skills to improve family relationships and refusal skills, and build bonds of community, while learning about the opioid crisis and how to infuse protective factors into their families and communities.

sharing at CRM training

In pursuit of these goals, Pender County first offered a screening of the film Resilience to the public in February as an introduction to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study (ACES), which addresses how to treat and prevent toxic stress. Sixty-eight participants viewed the film, enjoyed dinner, and asked questions during a panel discussion with experts from the Department of Social Services, Communities in Schools, and the New Hanover Resiliency Task Force.

As a deeper dive into specific strategies, EYFP offered Community Resiliency Model (CRM) training to Pender County professionals and interested participants as the second part of the community event. CRM training is designed to teach people skills to stabilize and balance their nervous systems, leading to an increase in resiliency. Resiliency is the ability to maintain an “even keel” during emotionally low and high times and to function well despite the circumstances of life. Participants learned how to recognize and track physical sensations as clues to their emotional state, adjust their physical reactions, and bring themselves back to center. Lauren Clark, MSW, CCM, Clinical Program Integration Coordinator, and Jesse Hardin, MA, Behavioral Health Quality Improvement Coordinator, presented to a gathering of 30 community members, health educators, Extension professionals, and other stakeholders in Pender County.

Pender county CRM training group

For more information about N.C. 4-H Empowering Youth and Families Program, please visit our website at Opioid Prevention NC.