September 2020 Newsletter
Announcements & Upcoming Events
City of Alexandria Recognizes September as Suicide Prevention Month

Nationally, one in five Americans live with a mental health condition. Nearly one in five youth will experience a mental health challenge such as depression or anxiety at some point during their life, and suicide remains the third leading cause of death in this age group. We can all help prevent suicide. 
Every year, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness during National Suicide Prevention Month. 

What can you do?

  • Dispose of unused or expired medication safely. Nineteen percent of people who complete suicide use poison or medication. Limiting access to these lethal means is one way you can help prevent suicide in Alexandria. Learn more about safe medication disposal.

  • Participate in Kognito. This program features tools for youth interested in supporting their peers by recognizing risk factors and adults who work with elementary, middle school and high school aged youth.

  • Register for “Strengthening Resiliency and Preventing Suicide During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Conversation with Experts,” a virtual event hosted by the Suicide Prevention Alliance of Northern Virginia.
Call for Nominations: SAPCA Officers and Board Members

The Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA) invites qualified and motivated individuals to submit nomination applications to serve as officers and members of the Board for SAPCA. Please send the nomination form to those you think are good candidates and interested in serving on the SAPCA Board.

We need current and future community leaders to provide their ideas, thoughts and time to reducing and ending youth substance use in Alexandria. 

Nominations are sought for the following positions:
  • Four officer positions - Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer (each with a two year term, January 2021-2023).
  • Five members of the Board of Directors (each with a two-year term, January 2021-2023). At least one member must be a youth.

Time Commitment 
SAPCA's Board of Directors, which includes its officers, meets monthly. The meetings are in the evenings from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Nomination Guidelines
  1. Nominees must be members in good standing with SAPCA.
  2. Nominees may be adults or Alexandria middle and high school students (public or private grades 6-12).

Nomination Procedures
Nominations should be submitted using this form. The deadline to submit your nomination application is Friday, October 30, 2020 at 11:00 p.m.
FDA Issues Warnings After Injuries Result From "Benadryl Challenge"

The FDA has issued warnings after reports of teen injuries and deaths after participating in the so-called "Benadryl Challenge" in videos posted on the social media application TikTok. Taking high doses of the allergy medication Benadryl can lead to severe health problems, such as heart problems, seizures, coma and death.

Prescriptions, including opioids and over-the-counter medication can be abused when a person takes a medication that was prescribed to someone else, takes their own prescription in a way not intended by a doctor, or takes a medication with the intention of getting high.
Help keep our community safe by locking up prescription and over-the-counter medication and disposing of unused or expired medication at one of Alexandria's permanent medication drop boxes.
Registration Open for Free Peer Support Groups

Formed Families Forward will be offering free peer support groups for teens and young adults ages 14-22 and for parents and caregivers. The groups meet twice monthly from October through May. Both groups are facilitated by professional mental health clinicians. 
This year, the group for parents and caregivers will meet virtually. Youth and young adults may be virtual or in person at our office in Fairfax, based on registration preferences. Youth and young adults should register before October 1, 2020.
#CivicsForUS: Equity in Civics Youth Fellowship Accepting Nominations and Applications

Join students from across the country on a mission to strengthen our democracy through civic education that speaks to every student by applying for the Equity in Civics Youth Fellowship.

This is a paid fellowship opportunity. Selected students will be required to:
  • Attend October 17–18th Virtual Kick-Off Event
  • Attend virtual online workshops and guest speaker events (2xs /month)
  • Attend meetings with the Equity in Civics Steering Committee (when possible)
  • Participate in speaking engagements as assigned
  • Lead and build the national social media campaign
  • Publish op-ed/blog
  • Engage in local advocacy for equity in civic education
  • Attend and participate in the end of program event

Eligible applicants must be low-income students, students of color, OR students in rural communities, with an interest in politics, civics, history, government, or social justice.

Teachers can nominate students using this form.

Once students are nominated, they will have until October 4, 2020 to complete this application form. Learn more here.
Celebrate Red Ribbon Week

The Red Ribbon Campaign is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation. This year's theme is "Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free." In partnership with the ACPS FACE Center, SCAN of Northern Virginia and the Mayor’s Campaign to End Bullying, SAPCA is excited to once again bring the campaign to Alexandria this fall!

It takes a community to teach prevention. How will you celebrate Red Ribbon Week this fall? Visit our website for tips and ideas, including information about this year's Red Ribbon Week Poster Contest.
Save the Date for Make A Difference Day

Every year on the fourth Saturday in October, volunteerism is celebrated by individuals, friends, and families when they join together for Make A Difference Day. This year, Make A Difference Day falls on October 24.

To celebrate families, friends, and individuals are welcome to order a wreath kit to help reach seniors who are self-quarantining and may feel disconnected from others. Senior Services of Alexandria's Friendly Visitor Program will help distribute these wreaths. The wreaths are a small act of kindness to let them know that they are being thought of and help connect to others while they are at home.
Register here to volunteer in-person on October 24. Youth ages 6-12 are welcome to participate with a parent/guardian.
Register here if you are unable to volunteer in person and would like a wreath kit to create at home.

Find more ways to make a difference year-round at
Scholarships Available to Alexandria Students Volunteering During COVID-19

Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) are recognizing the efforts Virginia youth have made to help in their communities during the pandemic. Through November 10, students in grades 5 through 12 are invited to apply for the 2021 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The award includes a $1,000 scholarship, presented to middle and high school students in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Along with the scholarship, winners, called State Honorees, receive an engraved silver medal and are invited to the program’s national recognition events in early May. Selections will be announced in February. Candidates are eligible if they have volunteered in-person or virtually in the past 12 months. Click here to apply.
Quick Links

Teen Wellness Center Offers Free Services for Alexandria Teens 12-19

The Teen Wellness Center at T.C. Williams is open for all Alexandrians ages 12-19 Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

All services are provided in the clinic. If teens are ill with an elevated temperature (100.0 °F or more) the Teen Wellness Center will see them through telehealth video format.
City Resources

Connect With Us
Alexandria Teen Life
Contact Us
Emma Beall, MPH
SAPCA Coordinator
O: 703.746.3670 
C: 571.302.1022
Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria 
123 N Pitt St, Suite 225
Alexandria, VA 22314