Upcoming Trainings
We are offering free OS, Inc. training registrations. Our hope is to take financial strain off by offering additional trainings throughout the year. We have 10 more trainings scheduled through the remainder of the school year. These trainings are also open to prevention professionals interested in learning more. Please find the March trainings below.
QPR: Ask a Question, Save a Life

QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention is an educational program designed for the average individual/professional (non-clinically trained) to recognize the warning signs of a suicidal individual and how to respond. Gatekeepers can be anyone who are strategically positioned to recognize someone at risk of suicide, and work with them to receive help (e.g. parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, coworkers, etc.). This presentation will eliminate the myth that only someone who is clinically trained can prevent someone from completing suicide.

Audience: Youth, Teachers, School Personnel & Preventionists.

Thursday, March 4
Virtual Session
A Cultural Approach to Affirming Language & Empowering Wellness

Provider bias in stigmatic language and other microaggressions affect a patient’s capacity to respond to clinical interventions and are identified in research, as components of poor care outcomes. This interactive webinar will provide professionals with an overview of implicit (i.e. unconscious) bias and its negative effects on interactions, decision-making and service outcomes, approaches to address and mitigate the effects of unconscious bias in practice, as well as how person-first language enhances the provider-client communications and collectively effects equitable outcomes for marginalized communities.

Audience: Youth, Teachers, School Personnel & Preventionists.

Wednesday, March 10
Virtual Session
The Facts About
Underage Drinking

This underage drinking prevention training will cover signs and symptoms, popular trends among youth, and how to start the conversation if you are concerned your peers or youth in your supervision are engaging in underage drinking.

Audience: Youth, Teachers, School Personnel & Preventionists.

Tuesday, March 16
Virtual Session
Diversity & Inclusion - Why Is It Critical to Your Organization?

Diversity is a ‘hot button’ topic in America right now. However, this subject is mostly being approached from the perspective of fear about our differences instead of from the opportunities brought forth by the same. Fearing what we don’t understand only promotes limitations in our growth. What we must remember is that the very strength of our nation is reflected on the writing of our National Seal, “E Pluribus Unum” – Out of Many, One.

Audience: Youth, Teachers, School Personnel & Preventionists.

Thursday, March 25
Virtual Session
Click and open the catalog to view dates, times, topics, and descriptions of trainings offered. To reserve your spot, find the links in the catalog and make sure to register.
Operation Snowball, Inc.
Membership Team/Individual Enrollment
Have you submitted your team's information yet? As you know, we ask for updated information each year, but gone are the days of accreditation fees and training costs!

We are now be offering FREE team and individual registrations. No longer do we have accreditation fees and individuals can sign up versus being affiliated with a team or group from your school.

If your team has not done so already, please take a few moments to have the primary adult contact fill out the enrollment form below so you continue to receive information from Operation Snowball, Inc. and can run programming under our name.
Problem Gambling Awareness Month
FOCUS! is a new youth prevention program at the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health (IABH) and is participating in Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) throughout the month of March.

PGAM is a campaign to increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment and recovery services. FOCUS! is committed to incorporating the theme by providing awareness and taking action of youth problem gambling. Follow along on social media as FOCUS! will be highlighting facts, learning how to combat youth gambling, as well as providing resources to further education.
Amplifying Youth Voices

Youth Advocates on the OS Board of Directors have been spending the past few months working hard writing articles, creating resources, and engaging our snowball community online.
A Guide to Self Care in a Pandemic
Sam Miles
Naperville, IL
A lot of people have been struggling through the pandemic, myself included, have pushed their own physical and mental needs behind other needs or activities now-a-days. Between school, work, and every other event going on within a pandemic—people are busy. So people find themselves over stressed, overworked, and just plain tired. In hopes of highlighting some positives in the pandemic, here are some ways to take care of yourself in such a tiresome time. 

Firstly the most important thing for you to do is to be aware of yourself and what you are feeling. Know when you are feeling upset, tired, stressed, as well as, happy or excited. The only way to fully take care of yourself: is to know when you need a break, or when you need to take time for yourself. Be honest with yourself, if you are having a bad day, that’s okay, you have to be comfortable with your own emotions. 
When you are feeling down or feeling stressed, it’s important to take a break, give yourself a 10 to 20 minute break from work or school. Take your brain off of work, take time to meditate or just to breathe. YouTube, Spotify, and podcasts are great resources for quick meditation or relaxation sessions. However, when spending hours online or in front of a screen, more screen time may seem very overwhelming. There are other ways to relax without a screen or outside guidance. One of the best ways is to remove yourself from situations that stress you out, sit or lay down, and just breathe. When focusing on your breathing, you allow your brain to remove itself from outside stimuli and just relax. When you can quiet the stressful thoughts, you can relax a lot easier. Some easy to remember breathing exercises are: 4 squared breathing (Breathe in for four, hold for four, and exhale for four) or 4-7-8 (Breathe in for four seconds, hold for seven, and exhale for eight). 

Another important step of taking care of yourself, after realizing you need a break: is to give yourself that break. Finding something that gives you an outlet. Using extra time to work on a new hobby or try a new activity or to challenge yourself in a new way. If you are feeling creative, taking up an art medium like painting or drawing can be a good release of emotions. Others may like taking stress out through a video game or board games, I personally love taking some time to play Minecraft when I am feeling stressed. And, finally another good way to release stress is exercise. I personally use kickboxing to work out any emotions that I find overwhelming, however, others may enjoy a slow calming yoga session to find your calm. 

Whichever way you choose to destress, the most important part is that you do find a way. With the stressful times that have been happening, it is of the utmost importance that everyone is taking care of themselves. Whether you found a new way in this article or have your own way. I encourage you to share it with us @operationsnowball and a friend; I challenge you to have a chat with a friend about how you have been and how you have been taking care of yourself. 
March Monthly Challenge
Our Youth Advocates on the OS Board of Directors have been busy brainstorming to ensure the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year is full of innovative programming and new ways to our community to stay connected.
March Random Acts of Kindness
We invite you to take part in the our Random Acts of Kindness monthly challenge. Print out this sheet or take a screenshot & save it on your phone and remember to check in each morning for the daily act of kindness. Keep track and see how many you complete.

Please share pictures and videos with us on social media of you completing the daily challenge by using the hashtag #OSMarchChallenge. Let's make this month full of positive intentions together!

NOTE: Remember to continue to follow all CDC guidelines and maintain safety for yourself and others while participating in this monthly challenge.
For inquiries and scheduling requests please contact Riley Blythe
riley@ilabh.org | 217.528.7335 ext. 27
How to Get Help
If you or someone you know is in a suicidal crisis, call or text a suicide hotline (toll free, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week):
  • Text HELLO to 741741 to connect with someone
  • Call SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Call 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
  • Call 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) for hearing & speech impaired
  • Call 1-866-488-7386 for the Trevor Project, a suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth
For inquiries and scheduling requests please contact Riley Blythe
riley@ilabh.org | 217.528.7335 ext. 27
MISSION STATEMENT: Through the development of leadership skills, Operation Snowball shall be a youth and adult partnership, providing awareness and prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, while encouraging healthy decision-making in an active community of caring.
Operation Snowball, Inc.

937 South 2nd Street | Springfield, IL 62704
217.528.7335 ext. 27