Together we support better choices and brighter futures!

At this time of year there is a heightened awareness of gratitude and giving. 

We at YSB are beyond blessed with our expanding partnerships, and the amazing support we receive from our community.

We have increased the numbers of youth and families that we have served throughout this last year, in large part to our recent capital and program expansion campaign that:

  • brought new therapists to YSB
  • expanded our Chemical Health support in ISD 622, ISD 833, and ISD 834
  • more than tripled the amount of Youth and Family Education sessions offered in 2018
  • has measurably increased our visibility in the community.

YSB has much to be grateful for – from those who use our services and those that help fund our work – together we support better choices and brighter futures!

Thank you for all you do for the youth and families in our communities!

D-833 and YSB: Chemical Health- Clinical Services

Chemical Health Spotlight:

Did you know that District 833 and the Youth Service Bureau have partnered to provide two Chemical Health Specialists to deliver services in the high schools?

‘YSB’ is a non-profit located in Washington County and offers a range of services focusing on youth and their families.

Gina Johnson, Prevention Specialist 


Colleen O’Neil, LADC, Clinical Specialist


How we help:

Colleen is the Chemical Health Clinical Specialist for District 833. Her role is to help students and families access confidential services including:

  • One on one support for students who use substances, have a history of substance use, and/or are impacted by other’s use.
  • Support groups such as concerned persons and sober support.
  • Family sessions regarding youth substance use focus on connecting families to resources.
  • Parent and staff consultation- daily/ weekly communication w/referents and with both admin/counseling staff.
  • Chemical health screenings and pre-assessments- as needed, counselor discretion.
  • Referrals to outside resources and follow-up support.

 Service provided:

  • Monday-Woodbury, 7:15am-3:15pmTuesday-East Ridge, 7:15am-3:15pm

    Wednesday-Park, 7:15am-3:15pm

    Thursday-South Washington Alternative, 7:15a-3:15pm

    Friday-Float day (go to which school has greatest need)


Stay tuned for next week’s “Chemical Health Spotlight” on the current substance use trends and their nicknames.

Learn more about all YSB’s Chemical Health Services. Call 651.439.8800 for support!

Sleepover Safety

With the upcoming holidays and time off of school, you may be hosting or sending your child off to a sleepover.  YSB recommends implementing some common sense limits for you kids and their friends.

This could include:

  • parental involvement to guide usage and content appropriate for the age group
  • speak with the parents of invitees, ask them to prepare their kids for the ‘rules’ before the sleepover 
  • collect phones before/during a sleepover
  • make sure alternatives are available: games, creative activities, snacks, movies

Click here for more information from Washington Post/@ONParenting:  Why cellphones and sleepovers are such a bad mix (and what parents can do about it)

Read More

What’s That Called Again?

Drug Trends of Today and Their Nicknames
(Part 1 of 3)
By: Gina Johnson, Chemical Health Prevention Specialist, D-833

The use of substances has 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 it is delivered into the body has changed drastically.

Read More

D-833 and YSB: Chemical Health Services

Chemical Health Spotlight:

Did you know that District 833 and the Youth Service Bureau have partnered to provide two Chemical Health Specialists to deliver services in the high schools?

‘YSB’ is a non-profit located in Washington County and offers a range of services for youth and their families.  How we help:

Gina Johnson, Prevention Specialist 


Colleen O’Neil, LADC, Clinical Specialist



Gina is the Chemical Health Prevention Specialist for District 833 and the surrounding community. Her role is to help educate students, staff, and parents on the dangers of substance use and to positively influence youth to make healthier choices. She has been doing this in the district by:

  • Classroom, staff and parent presentations on chemical health issues such as vaping, brain development, prevention tools for parents, peer pressure and refusal skills, and more.
  • Newsletters to parents/staff on chemical health issues (current trends, prevention, education, and resources.)
  • Sustain and support student clubs/ groups promoting health and wellness. Such as the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).
  • Prevention Campaigns within the district as well as in the community.
  • School policy and procedure development.

If you are interested in bringing Gina into your classroom for a presentation or have other prevention needs, please contact her at

Stay tuned for next week’s Chemical Health Spotlight on the Chemical Health Clinical Specialist, Colleen O’Neil, LADC.

Learn more about all YSB’s Chemical Health Services.

YSB’s Community Programs Receive Community Support!

YSB Welcomes TJ Maxx/Home Store to Cottage Grove – and receives $10,000 for our “awesome community service!”

Many thanks to Jon Rose, Store Manager, and Myron Bailey, Mayor of Cottage Grove and YSB Board Member, for their efforts that brought 120 jobs (and counting!) to the community!

A cold and rainy day did not deter the shoppers and supporters – thanks again to TJ Maxx/Home Store for supporting YSB – we are able to do the work we do because of funding like this!


Photo includes Myron Bailey- Cottage Grove Mayor and YSB Board Member, Andree Aronson – YSB Development Director and Jon Rose, Store Manager



Welcome to Cottage Grove, TJ Maxx and Home Goods!

Will of Women supports YSB!

YSB was one of three local non-profits that received funding from WOW
(Will of Women) this year. 

WOW was founded by Community member Brenda Farrell, with the mission of empowering members to begin to think of how “I” could become “we” and “we” could become hundreds of women pooling their financial resources to make a significant difference collectively.

Please visit their website for more information and see the many non-profits that they have supported over the years.

Love to support YSB? Learn more about How You Can Help!

Diversion Conference 2018

Our second Diversion Conference was a great success!

Many thanks to our partners and presenters. We had a great group of people from around the seven county metro area, including County Attorneys and Judges, Community Corrections, County Probation and Police Departments.

The Honorable Joy D. Bartscher, a Judge from Ramsey County talked about the importance of the human connection with the youth that are served;

Kate Richtman, Ramsey County Attorney, talked about the roots and history of Diversion and how the program has changed over time;

Dr. David Walsh shared the research about brain development and how that is impacted by digital addiction and social media use.

The afternoon was filled with 50 minute information sessions led by the sponsoring organizations. Attendees left informed, energized, and excited about continuing the conference in the future:

“The Diversion Conference was another example of how kids are best served when stakeholders collaborate and share ideas.

The perspectives presented by the prosecutor and judge, combined with the information and ideas shared by the four youth serving agencies gave all attendees a lot of food for thought on how they can improve their work with young people.  All of that, along with the presentation on the brain provided by Dr. David Walsh made for a very informative day.” 

Anthony Zdroik
Juvenile Division Chief
Washington County Attorney’s Office