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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – The teachers were students from the Shelby County Arts Center, where classes focused on prevention, education and intervention.

Students face more challenges than their schoolwork, and this workshop focused on looking for signs of substance abuse or mental health issues.

Zina Cartwell, director of wellness prevention for Central Alabama, said the Central Alabama Wellness Center is the local community mental health center that focuses on educating the community. , hosting interventions, and the ability to connect individuals to the resources they need.

Compact officers work with the community, school resource officers and parents to help identify youth at risk for substance abuse or mental wellness issues.

Throughout the school year, Central Alabama Wellness and Compact visit schools and work with students on prevention, education and intervention.

“Our kids are going through a lot, it’s not just about drugs, it’s about their mental health, and if we’re able to harness that, we can give them the help they need. need,” Cartwell said.

With the help of the Tri-City Impact team, this group organized a wellness workshop to educate educators.

Shelby County teachers, administrators and school trustees were invited.

“What are some telltale + telltale signs, what are the things they look at every day,” Cartwell said. “Not only that, but being able to connect them with resources that, if they have mental health issues or issues or prevention issues, can contact us.”

Several of the speakers at the workshop were compact officers who represent different police departments in Shelby County.

Jamelle Allen of the Hoover Police Department assigned to the compact task force said these officers deal with substance abuse or mental wellness issues through prevention, education and intervention.

“We work with community teams like the Tri-City Impact Team to find ways to stop young people from ending up on this addiction path and through education we educate them about the dangers of vaping and drugs,” Allen said.

Topics of discussion were peer support, drug court review, underage drinking, vaping, mental health, compact interventions and prevention.

For more information, call 205-651-0077 or visit to their website.

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