Distracted Driving

Written by – Ravi Roelfs, Diversion Staff at YSB

Welcome to Spring and Summer, hopefully everyone had a nice winter and enjoyed all the snow we were able to receive all the way until May 2019.

As we move forward, YSB Diversion Staff would like to discuss the topic of Distracted Driving while using a cell phone to our readers of this newsletter and supporters of the Youth Service Bureau.

Did you know the first handheld cell phone was made by Motorola in 1973?  The phone allowed a user to talk for 35 minutes and it required 10 hours to charge.

The first text message was sent on December 3rd, 1992 sent as a SMS message saying, “Merry Christmas”.

Times have changed, and as we fast forward into the current 21st century and the year of 2019, phones have their benefits and also their weaknesses.  The average teen these days spends 53 hours a week on social media.  I hope your teen isn’t one that is in this statistic.

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NAMI and Mental Health Month

By Katy Jo Turner, Grassroots Organizer, NAMI Minnesota

With a startling statistic that one in five people live with a mental health condition, it is equally as startling that the topic of mental illness is still met with insecurity and avoidance. Fortunately, this is starting to shift. People are especially prompted to think about their and their loved ones’ mental health during May, Mental Health Month.

During the month, NAMI Minnesota (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) is hosting many free programs for the public to learn how to support others experiencing a mental illness, encourage conversation on the topic, and inspire attendees to take better care of their own mental health.

Some presentations create empathy, some provide training, and all give hope.

“In Our Own Voice” offers an opportunity for attendees to listen to someone’s story and learn what it’s like to experience a mental illness and be in recovery.

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What to Know About CBD

By Gina Johnson, Chemical Health Prevention Specialist

Currently deemed a miracle drug, Cannabidiol or CBD seems to be everywhere right now. But what exactly is CBD? While CBD and THC are both chemical components from the Cannabis plant, unlike THC, it doesn’t make you feel high. Available in the form of pills, vaping, oils, lotions, gummies, coffee, and food. CBD has been praised as a treatment for chronic pain, migraines, ADHD and anxiety. Many business and companies are jumping on the bandwagon to sell this product.

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21 Cheap, Healthy Ways to Practice Self-Care

Courtesy of IndieFlix

  1. Drink water
  2. Stretch and exercise
  3. Shower or take a bath
  4. Put on a face mask
  5. Eat Fruits and vegetables
  6. Give yourself a mani/pedi
  7. Call a friend or a family member
  8. Change your bed sheets
  9. Tidy your room
  10. Meditate
  11. Make yourself a cup of tea
  12. Turn off your phone
  13. Make a list of things that make you happy
  14. Help out at your local animal shelter
  15. Do your hair and/or makeup
  16. Listen to music or a podcast
  17. Go for a walk without your phone
  18. Read a book
  19. Journal
  20. Seek out professional help
  21. Take a day off

It’s okay to not be okay. Always remember that.

Read the full article here.

Alcohol and Youth: What’s the Big Deal?

Let’s Talk: Alcohol and Youth: What’s the Big Deal?

By Julia Geigle

While the use of alcohol among youth is declining, there continues to be a widespread use among youth . Because drinking alcohol impairs judgement and can increase feelings of invincibility, individuals under the influence  are more likely to engage in risky behaviors like reckless driving, fighting, and having unprotected sex.

We know that one or even two standard drinks won’t lead to the type of consequences named above. However, while teens tend to drink less often than adults do, when they do drink, they drink larger amounts, compounding health and safety risks. Binge drinking, consuming at least four to five standard drinks per occasion, constitutes about 90% of underage drinking. Additionally, research has shown that the earlier in life a person drinks, the more likely they will suffer the negative consequences, and develop an addiction.

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Growing Together Gala

2019 Growing Together Gala, Friday, May 10th 

Youth Service Bureau invites you to join us for an evening of entertainment, fun, community, and just a splash of learning. REGISTER NOW! for the 2019 Growing Together Gala on Friday, May 10th at The Royal Club in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.

Live music, and lively guests, along with a charitable auction you won’t want to miss!

This year’s theme is Youth and Family Education, one of four major programs delivered by Youth Service Bureau, Inc. Our dedicated professional staff partner with schools, civic groups, religious organizations, professional associations, and others throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area to bring practical advice and effective strategies to engage and empower youth, and those who care for them. Presentation topics include mental health, vaping, social media, anxiety, the effects of screen time, and other community trends.

Don’t miss out on the fun! Register today by visiting our website at and click on the Gala Registration button on the main page. Or you can register over the phone by calling us at 651-439-8800.

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Caring for All

Caring for all: Youth & Family Education

Merri Guggisberg, YSB Youth and Family Education Coordinator


Youth Service Bureau’s mission of helping youth and families learn the skills they need to be successful at home, in school, and throughout the community is active in Youth and Family Education.  We are partnering with schools both public and private, faith communities, local nonprofits and organizations to share education sessions and help support families as they face the varied challenges of raising children. 

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Let’s Talk: The Data Behind Teen Substance Use: Not “Everyone Is Doing It”

February 22, 2019

Our children may say to us, “everyone is doing it.” And with all the media attention onteen vaping  and the changing landscape around marijuana legalization, we might believe them.

However, the reality is that the majority of teens are making the healthy choice not to misuse alcohol and other drugs. According to the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey, 70% of Stillwater 11th graders report not using an alcohol in the past 30 days, and 74% report they have not used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days. The Minnesota Student Survey (MNSS) is an accurate data source, passing validity and reliability tests. The anonymous statewide survey conducted to gain insights into the world of students and their experiences, is slated to be given this spring.

The MNSS and other surveys like the annual national Monitoring the Future Study, also show that adolescents dramatically overestimate peer substance use. And, if their perception of substance use is exaggerated, teens may make risky choices aligned with these inaccurate, unhealthy beliefs. Just because kids may think, “everyone is doing it” doesn’t mean that is the reality.

As parents, caregivers and educators, we can use the social norms approach and emphasize that the majority of students in Minnesota and across the nation continue to make healthy choices around substance use.

Another Year of Growth and Service to Kids and Families

YSB ended 2018 financially sound with solid growth in our therapy, chemical health and youth and family education programs.  Our diversion staff continued to work effectively with at-risk kids to help them turn their lives around after their first encounters with the judicial system. Last year we served over 14,000 youth and family members in all our programs, added new talents to our already strong staff and Board of Directors and continued to build relationships with the school districts and law enforcement agencies we work with.

Cottage Grove Mayor Myron Bailey was elected President of the Board of Directors, along with Brian Zeller (Vice President), Ryan Baldwin (Treasurer) and Brent Wartner (Secretary). New board members include Ben Granley (CEO, Werner Electric Supply), Khurram Hassan (US Bank) and Randy Bachman (Branch Manager, Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove).  Jessica Danberg (Chief of Police, City of St. Paul Park) will be elected to the Board in February.

If you haven’t yet attended one of our Youth and Family Education programs, please do!  Through engaging documentaries such as Screenagers, Angst, andLike,followed by panel discussions led by YSB staff, we have been highlighting ways to combat screen addiction, social media abuse, anxiety and depression in youth.  For more on what YSB offers parents who are concerned about their children’s mental health and the challenges of growing up, please check out our calendar of community events at

Don’t forget to save the date for our next Gala, which will be held on May 10, 2019 from 5:30-9 pm  at the Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo.  We will continue our tradition of bringing you the best in speakers on topics of interest to all families and connecting you with leaders from throughout the Metro area whose goal is to make the lives of at-risk kids better and help them become production community members.  This year we will highlight our  expanding work in Youth and Family Education.  I hope to see you there!

Bob Sherman
Executive Director

What’s That Called Again? Part 2

Substance Trends of Today and Their Nicknames
By: Gina Johnson, Chemical Health Prevention Specialist

The use of substances have been around for centuries but what was popular 10 years ago may not be the drug of choice now.

According to the MN Student Survey, an anonymous survey taken every 3 years, the 3 most popular substances used by students are alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco. Those 3 have been the leading substances used by students for the past 20 years. However, their strength and how they are delivered into the body has changed drastically.

For the past five years a new device that delivers nicotine has flown onto the radar. It is called an Electronic Cigarette and it has surpassed cigarettes with usage among youth. At this point, an E-cig, is nothing like a traditional cigarette. It uses a battery to heat up liquid nicotine and turns it into an aerosol for the user to take a hit and get an immediate intense nicotine buzz.

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