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5 Collegiate Teams Commit to the Horsetooth Open Water Swim


Horsetooth Open Water Swim organizers announced that five collegiate teams have confirmed entry for the 2018 Horsetooth Open Water Swim, four women’s teams and one men’s team. The collegiate teams will compete in the 2.4 mile men’s and women’s collegiate division.

In the women’s event, 99 swimmers from Adams State University, Colorado State University, the United States Air Force Academy, and the University of Northern Colorado will compete for individual honors and the women’s team trophy. Colorado State University’s Haley Rowley took last year’s women’s collegiate title with a time of 0:49:52. Rowley went on to break three school records, earned Mountain West Swimmer of the meet at the 2017-18 Mountain West Swimming and Diving Championship and she was named Mountain West Swimmer of the Year. Rowley shares her story and her challenge with mental health in “Out of the Depths: Haley Rowley Shares Her Success Story” by Tony Phifer.  Last year, Rowley was chased by UNC Swimmers Holli Johnson who finish second with a time of 0:51:36 and  Jennifer Brown with a time of 0:51:41.

On the men’s side, Air Force Academy’s Colin Green looks to defend his title from last year. His time last year was 0:48:51. Green beat out team mates Ben Brockman (0:48:58) and Riley Delahoyde (0:49:19) for the win.   Air Force Academy’s men’s team is the only men’s team that has confirmed at this point and are a lock to bring home the men’s team trophy unless other teams enter the race. Organizers are still waiting to hear from the University of Denver and the University of Wyoming men’s swim teams about their participation and are excited about the prospects of another border war event or an in-state rivalry swim. 

The dedicated collegiate race was added to last year’s Horsetooth Open Water Swim and was made possible when organizers moved the race date from August to September to avoid boat congestion on the reservoir. The addition of collegiate events has led to an increase interest from local teenage and youth swimmers, hoping to be noticed by the collegiate coaches. Organizers are hosting a youth open swim clinic on August 25, 2018 at the Horsetooth Reservoir Swim Beach at 8:00 AM. The clinic will be taught be a number of seasoned endurance swimmers including multiple IRONMAN competitors and English Channel swimmers Joe Bakel and George Thornton.

The marque event of the Horsetooth Open Water Swim is the 10 kilometer race that feature endurance swimmers from across the USA and the world. Anheuser Busch is a proud Title Sponsor of the Horsetooth Open Water Swim 10k race.

The Horsetooth Open Water Swim is a fundraiser for TEAM Wellness & Prevention. To register for the Horsetooth Open Water Swim click the button below:


Mental Health Matters

Larimer County

Opinion: Larimer County Shows Its Commitment to MENTAL HEALTH EFFORT

By the Coloradoan Editorial Board- Coloradoan January 5, 2018

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Larimer County officials are serious about addressing the need for improved behavioral and mental health services in Northern Colorado. They hope county voters will feel the same the next time those services and ideas for funding them come up on an election ballot. That could happen as soon as November.

The county commissioners started off the new year right by demonstrating their commitment to advancing the cause. They pledged to consider establishing a behavioral health campus on 40 acres of county-owned land
near the intersection of South Taft Hill and Trilby roads.

Creating a facility where residents could readily find help with substance abuse and other mental and behavioral health problems has been a priority for local officials for many years. However, efforts to establish a county-supported facility have failed to gain traction with voters.

In 2016, county voters rejected a proposed .25 percent sales tax that would have funded a $20 million facility
to provide mental health and detox services. The facility was envisioned as a place that would provide a continuum of care by treating people from the onset of a crisis through recovery.

A precinct-by-precinct review of election returns showed Fort Collins voters favored the ballot measure. But the
proposal failed to pass in any precinct in Loveland, the Estes Valley and most of unincorporated Larimer County.
The defeat taught officials the importance of messaging when trying to reach a broad range of demographics.
There’s a lot to be said for providing a certain level of detail — such as where a facility might be located and what it might look like — when making a pitch to skeptical voters.

The facility proposed in 2016 would have been operated by third-party service providers that specialize in mental health treatment rather than the county. That’s still the premise for the latest vision for a behavioral health campus.

The idea is not about growing government, as some
voters might have perceived in 2016. Rather, it’s about
the government acting as a facilitator for the delivery of important services.

The offer of county land for a behavioral health campus is a positive step forward. The county now has a tangible
idea to present to municipalities and other potential partners as plans for a facility are developed.

The location near the county landfill is not a particularly welcoming spot. At the moment, it is not served by public transportation. However, the site is between Fort Collins and Loveland, demonstrating that the facility
would be an asset that could be accessed by all county residents. The commissioners kept open their options
for placing a facility elsewhere should a better location emerge.There’s a long way to go for a behavioral health
facility to become a reality. Many details, especially funding, must be hammered out.

Mostly importantly, voters must be convinced that mental health issues, whether manifested through substance
abuse, suicide or violent crime, are not just problems faced by individuals.

These are problems for the community. The community has a responsibility to address them for the good of us all.

The Coloradoan editorial board is led by columnist Kevin Duggan and news director Eric Larsen. Coloradoan
reporters are not involved in the editorial process.

Survey Sarah


Let's Evaluate this

By Sarah Allison- Evaluation Director


This month, I would love to step away from sharing our awesome programming results to talk about all of the different kind of data we collect and work with here at TEAM Wellness & Prevention! It is vital that we collect large amounts of data to ensure that all of our programs and activities are hitting the mark and meet the needs of our community.

We carefully evaluate all of our programs using a number of different tried-and-true survey tools. In the last few months, we have shared data from our Engaging Families Initiative, our Define Youth program, and our Youth Empowered Yoga program. Coming soon, we will be sharing data on our TEAM Fashion program as well. In all of our programming, we collect data on our youth’s demographics, social support systems, history with substance use, perception of substance use, and mindfulness. All of this data comes straight back to me here at the TEAM office where I enter it into our databases, clean it, and begin my analyses!  

In addition to our programming data, we have some larger community level data coming through our office on a regular basis. Our Responsible Association of Retailers collects information from I.D. compliance checks at local alcohol retailers and our new TenderWise program, which provides budtender training with a prevention lens, will be bringing in data from the marijuana industry in the near future. Keeping track of the trends in the industry allows us to work together as a community to prevent substances from getting into the hands of local youth and that all adult patrons are served responsibly.

Finally, here at TEAM Wellness & Prevention, we regularly complete community needs assessments to ensure that any intervention we complete reflects the true needs of our population. Currently, we have begun a DUI/DWAI community needs assessment where we are collecting data and synthesizing it to get a better understanding of DUI/DWAI issues throughout Larimer County so that we can go into our strategic planning well informed.

We are always willing to discuss and share the results of our work. Please reach out to me at anytime if you have a data request!




Southern Larimer Prevention Partnership welcomes Loveland Councilman Olson

by Adam Musielewicz- Coalition Director


Community partnerships are the result of listening, aligning, and coordinating. The Southern Larimer Prevention Partnership's (SLPP) June Meeting welcomed guest speaker Councilman Steve Olson from Loveland City Council. Councilman Olson, with his experienced military and healthcare administrator background, has helped city council begin to learn about and prioritize sometimes complicated issues facing Loveland citizens. 


Homelessness, suicide, and opioid use/abuse prevention are those issues and Councilman Olson is helping lead an assessment of community organizations/resources that address these issues. In is this vein, of aligning and coordinating, the SLPP coalition in its work of preventing youth substance abuse, will continue to collaborate with Council on how best to work together to support healthy environments for youth in Southern Larimer County. 


Programming for prevention

Thompson Teens United Traveling Mural has a home for the summer

By Meg Keigley- Program Specialist


In case you have not heard, Team is proud to be working with a group of Loveland & Berthoud high schoolers on a campaign to raise awareness of substance use rates among youth in Colorado.  The goal of this campaign is to uncover youth’s perceptions of peer substance use (for example, how many of their peers they think are smoking weed) and compare those perceptions to the reality of substance use.  All of this is intended to decrease youth substance use by exposing the actual norms among youth in our community. 

The campaign, named Thompson Teens United, created a traveling mural this spring.  Youth from Thompson Teens United designed and implemented this collaborative work of art that traveled to four Thompson School District high schools this spring.  Over 150 teens from the four high schools contributed to the mural with individual pieces of art depicting what they do instead of using substances. 

Now with schools closed for the summer the mural will reside at the Loveland Public Library for the coming months.  Be sure to stop by and check out the amazing work done by teens in our community!  


Parenting Partnerships

Your Life on Brainwise: Part 4

By Jane Wilson- Parent Engagement Specialist

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We all need our tribe – last month we learned that we are neurologically designed to feel safest when we belong to and are part of a group. Our Constellation of Support provides assistance when we are working to solve a problem, and it can even help us avoid them.

One of the first steps to preventing a problem is realizing that you have one, which is the purpose of the BrainWise third Wise Way: Recognizing Red Flags. Red flag warnings identify internal and external signals that warn you that your lizard brain is beginning to activate itself. Learning to recognize your red flags helps you use wizard brain thinking. There are two types of red flag warnings:

Internal Red Flags: What you feel inside

·         Stomach tightening

·         Fast heartbeat

·         Tight muscles

·         Dry mouth

·         Tightness in throat

External Red Flags: What you see, hear or do

·         Clenched fists

·         Gritted teeth

·         Red face

·         Slammed door

·         Shouting

People with good thinking skills pay attention to red flags and are alert to their cues. They use them to assess and analyze a situation. Recognizing red flags can help you avoid or prepare for problems. Red flags give your wizard brain additional information to make decisions and create new pathways to your wizard brain.

One way to increase recognition of your red flag warnings is through practicing mindfulness. In simplest terms, mindfulness is the ability to be fully present – aware of where we are and what we are doing.  When we become more conscious of how we feel in the present, we become aware of the changes in our bodies when we are angry or under stress. As you become more aware of your emotions, your brain builds networks and pathways that help you control your actions within your wizard brain. Studies also show that when kids learn mindfulness skills, they demonstrate significant improvement in attention, impulse control, ability to regulate emotions, and development of empathy.

For more information on Engaging Families and the BrainWise program, email


RAR News

RAR ID Compliance Checks featured in Coloradoan

Nathan Dewey

What are some of the things that Responsible Association of Retailers does? This is often a question I get, as well as my coworkers get, as Program Specialists here at Team Wellness and Prevention. One of the great things about these monthly newsletters is that we can all share a bit more about what our programs do with you. As the Program Specialist for RAR, I have several duties that I must perform, and in future articles I will go into more detail about what is the function of the RAR program in our community and what it does. Since we were recently featured in an article in The Coloradoan on June 28th, 2018, so I thought this month it would be great to feature the ID Compliance Check component of the RAR program.

When you become a member of RAR, there are several services and features that you can take part in or are exclusively a part of. Each member is held to a high standard of properly checking identification and carding their patrons and they are instructed, through a recommendation by the State of Colorado to card all individuals who appear to be 50 years or younger. The members voluntarily participate in these compliance checks and are given monthly reports with the results of each check. All results of these ID Compliance Checks are kept private between RAR and the establishment.

 The ID Compliance Checks work by sending out individuals, from the ages of 21 to 26, to go out to our participating members and be properly identified by staff in each establishment. Each member has three chances to card the individual performing the check. They must be carded prior to, during, or before cash exchange for the sale or service of alcohol or cannabis. If the individual is carded properly, they receive a “Green Card”, which represents a passing grade for that establishment. If the individual is carded improperly, or not carded at all, they receive a “Red Card”, which represents a failing grade for that establishment. The green and red cards are one of the most valuable features of RAR for each business, because it can be an opportunity to praise staff for doing a good job, or an opportunity for that business to use it as a teaching moment. The members then receive a report on the ID Compliance Check, every month, and are given specific details about the interaction between their staff and our individual who is being carded.

In the coming month we will be introducing a new part of the ID Compliance Checks to our program. Each month we will visit 10 non-members in the community and perform ID Compliance Checks, giving them a red or green card on the spot and inviting them to be a part of what we are doing. We will then post these results on the RAR website. We believe this will bring even more attention to the importance of proper identification processes, as well as what RAR and TEAM is doing in the community.

We are proud to report that there are very few or even no “Red Cards” given out in our communities each month, but when it does happen, it has become a great tool to correct these actions and create an even safer community. If you are between the ages of 21 to 26, and would like to participate as our ID Compliance checker, please feel free to contact us. The Coloradoan article can be found in the link below.




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The Changing Tide of Prevention- A Four Part Series About the Evolution Drug Prevention Strategy

By Gordon Coombes- Executive Director

I am truly a child of the 80’s and like many people from my generation, I was a student of the then popular and well-intentioned Drug Abuse Resistance Education or D.A.R.E. Program. D.A.R.E. programs were wide spread during the 1980’s and were taught in partnership between schools and local law enforcement.

These programs taught students a lot about drugs. I vividly remember a police officer folding open a large hinged wooden display cabinet, reminiscent of shadow boxes used to hold knickknacks or awards. Except this one had plexiglass firmly screwed to the face of both sides to hold the various narcotics in place. I remember the police officer describing each of the substances and explaining the effects of each of the drugs and the various highs the each produced for its user.

In 1995, I attended the law enforcement academy and in our narcotics training session, a similar scene unfolded in front of me and brought memories of my D.A.R.E. education back to me. I was later hired by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and was proud to see that there was the all too familiar black patrol car with the D.A.R.E. logos emblazoned on all surfaces of the vehicle included in the LCSO fleet of Chevrolet Caprice patrol cars.

Unbeknownst to me, by that time, in the mid 90's,  there were a flurry of studies coming out from various research institutes, questioning veracity and effectiveness of D.A.R.E. programs. In fact, some of the research was indicating that D.A.R.E. programs were leading to an increase in drug use among youth.

It wasn’t until I became an undercover narcotics investigator with the Larimer County Drug Task Force that I, personally, began to question the efficacy of the D.A.R.E. programs that had informed me and millions of other youth throughout the United States. In my early days of working undercover, I relied heavily on D.A.R.E. education to engage in conversation and negotiate purchases with my unsuspecting dealers. At one point, I was buying an 8 ball of methamphetamine from an unknowing suspect who proudly boasted that he learned how to sell drugs from D.A.R.E., confused, I asked him how. In colorful language he explained to me that the program taught him how to market and upsell his product to his customers.

As I became more and more seasoned in my assignment, my curiosity kicked in, as well as a nagging feeling of helplessness as it related to the possibility of actually winning this war on drugs that I had enlisted into. At that point, I started to ask suspects, informants and users about how they got started in the world of the illegal drug trade. Criticism of D.A.R.E. and dare like programs were common. Often combined with eye rolls and heavy sarcasm. There were other common risk factors that began popping up more and more, along with a variety of protective factors that contributed to some of these people successful exiting the lifestyle they had entered. I began to wonder if we had been going about prevention the wrong way. I also began to believe that enforcement efforts alone were not going to win the war on drugs, effective prevention efforts were the best strategy winning this war.