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Starting Monday, Sept. 15, local young people will be celebrating healthy living in a weeklong wellness event. The Humboldt County Transition-Age Youth Collaboration’s (HCTAYC) Youth Advisory Board will kick off its second annual “Wellness Week,” designed for both fun and education and is the organization’s most-important outreach effort of the year.
Wellness Week will start with a kickoff at 4 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Wharfinger Building. Youth between the ages of 16 to 26 are invited for a healthy-living afternoon that includes craft projects, food, music, fun, a photobooth and even a smoothie-making blender bicycle! The kickoff will introduce the schedule of weeklong events, activities and workshops as well as encouraging attendees to make their own “Wellness Passport,” which can be entered into a raffle during the Friday closing.
Wellness Week explores the Substance Abuse Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA) eight domains of wellness: emotional, financial, social, spiritual, occupational, physical, intellectual and environment. Transition-Age Youth (TAY) includes young people between 16 to 26-years old, making the transition from state custody or foster care to independent living.
TAY folks will be able to learn new skills, sign up for special activities, make new friends, eat lots of good food and “get their fun on.” Each day from 3 to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, over 16 workshops will be presented. Those events will include hula dancing, “moody” smoothies, making bath scrubs, perfecting a resume and gardening.
HCTAYC Wellness Week closes Saturday, Sept. 20 with a grand finale barbecue. Last year, the organizers gave away raffle prizes such as bikes, tools, MP3 players, exercise equipment and gift cards. Participants will receive a passport stamp at each of the eight wellness domains to enter the raffle.
In 2013, the HCTAYC Wellness Week received two “Excellence in Community Communications and Outreach (ECCO)” awards from SAMHSA. Additionally, Youth Advisory Board Leaders Cole Vanwey and Jade Carlson received Community Leadership Awards from the Humboldt County Behavioral Health Board in recognition of their role in coordinating Wellness Week, as well as their excellence in bringing youth voice and expertise to local policy table. “Wellness to me is like a glass of water – can’t get enough,” said a 2013 youth participant.
This year’s Wellness Week will continue the tradition of connecting community organizations and local businesses to young people and creating long-lasting relationships with local wellness resources.
A schedule of events for HCTAYC Wellness Week 2014, held at the Wharfinger Building at #1 Marina Way, Eureka, is available at the TAY Division offices, 550 I Street in Eureka. Attendees can stay up-to-date with an RSVP at the Wellness Week Facebook Event and by liking HCTAYC at facebook.com/hctayc. HCTAYC can also be reached at 707-476-4922 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about SAMHSA’s National Wellness Week Initiative is available at promoteacceptance.samhsa.gov.
Follow us on Twitter: @HumCoDHHS.