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    Guardsman helping youth build resiliency and make smart decisions

    Guardsman helping youth build resiliency and make smart decisions

    Photo By Joseph Siemandel | 1st Lt. James Hanrahan, a resiliency training instructor with the Washington National...... read more read more



    Story by Joseph Siemandel  

    Joint Force Headquarters - Washington National Guard

    With a focus on building resiliency and preventing substance misuse, the Washington National Guard’s Counterdrug Program Western Region Counterdrug Training Center (WRCTC) is currently piloting a course designed to equip students with the knowledge and refusal skills to make smart decisions and manage stress without turning to drugs.

    “This class is part of the National Guard’s overall drug prevention outreach efforts to prevent substance misuse,” said 1st Lt. James Hanrahan, a resiliency training instructor with the WRCTC.

    According to the University of Washington Addictions, Drug and Alcohol Institute, methamphetamine and fentanyl are the most prominent drugs in the state.

    Hanrahan, who worked in the 10th Civil Support Team supporting local law enforcement with hazards due to drug labs, is now working with the WRCTC to tailor military resilience courses for civilian students and to develop prevention education courses.

    “We are using prevention science and developing evidence-based strategies to reduce risk factors that could lead to substance misuse,” said Hanrahan.

    The Army’s Master Resilience Training Course uses 14 resilience skills to enhance leadership and effectiveness while teaching skills to soldiers, family members, and Department of Army civilians. The Department of Defense recently authorized the WRCTC to teach the course to law enforcement agencies, community-based organizations, and other private organizations involved in drug interdiction or prevention activities.

    Hanrahan focuses his class on how to identify thoughts triggered by an event, positive or negative, and how those thoughts drive consequences through emotions or reactions following those events.

    “We are focusing on teaching the students life skills to use to overcome obstacles and stress to prevent potential substance misuse,” said Hanrahan. “This program potentially can help someone dealing with a real problem from turning to a substance by using the coping skills they have learned.”

    Forty-one of the 54 states and territories with National Guard counterdrug programs operate drug prevention programs, but the WRCTC is the only National Guard counterdrug school that is actively developing and expanding resiliency and prevention focused curriculum.

    The first class, taught at the Washington Youth Challenge Academy, was a chance for Hanrahan to craft his materials for a group of students who are not in the military. Next month he will be giving the same class to Washington National Guard youth council members to receive feedback from them about how to improve on it before it is rolled out to larger audiences.

    “Providing the prevention curriculum and training is just one way we can help. We want provide them better tools on how to deal with situations,” said Hanrahan.



    Date Taken: 09.21.2023
    Date Posted: 09.21.2023 15:38
    Story ID: 453988
    Location: CAMP MURRAY, WA, US

    Web Views: 159
    Downloads: 0