In October, Sandra Morrissey of Region V Systems came before the Jefferson County Commissioners to discuss the strength of the Jefferson Community Coalition (JCC), a group that promotes drug- and alcohol-free youth in Jefferson County.
Morrissey explained that since the coalition formed, there have been many projects and activities to promote drug-free and alcohol-free lifestyles in the county.
“We’ve got some really great stuff going on here in Jefferson County,” said Morrissey. “The Jefferson Community Coalition is a leader in the community and you have a very strong youth center with the FYI Center. We’re continuing to try to make positive changes.”
One issue the Coalition is trying to address is suicide among young people. Morrissey explained that it is becoming more and more of a prevalent issue in the county.
“We’ve been working to expand education on suicide and other mental health issues we face in society,” Morrissey said. “We are seeing anxiety and depression rates rise among first and second graders, which is pretty new. We want to make an environmental change within the community and in homes so we can hopefully reduce those rates among young people. We’re seeing less and less of communication among young people. Nebraska is in the top 10 when it comes to youth suicide rates.”
Commissioner Gale Pohlmann agreed with Morrissey that there are a number of problems in society, and he commended Morrissey and the Jefferson Community Coalition for their efforts to address these issues. He encouraged them to continue helping young people in the region to lead healthy lives.
“I know there are a lot of problems out there,” said Pohlmann. “You’re working really hard with the youth to make things better. I just admire you all for your work in that area. You’re working to change lives. It’s great we have people like you working to solve these problems.”