09/13/20: In Pender County, Nc 4-H Empowering Youth and Families Program (EYFP) has been hard at work establishing a new resource and partnership for the community: the Pender County Resiliency Task Force! Co-founded by N.C. Cooperative Extension and Pender County Health Department, the idea for the Pender Task Force was first conceived during Pender County EYFP’s first community event in February of this year. The event included activities such as a screening of the film Resilience, a meal, and a panel discussion. It was during this panel discussion that it was brought to the attention of the community the need for a Resiliency Task Force for Pender County. Working off the momentum of their second EYFP community event, the proposed Task Force was well on its way to creation with the Pender County community making great strides in resiliency work. Then, COVID-19 happened and brought with it many new challenges. All programming for Pender County EYFP and its partner had to move online, and people were no longer able to leave home to get the social interaction they desperately needed. Different mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression were at a high during the pandemic. To combat this issue, Liz Peterson, Pender County 4-H Agent, made a push forward to attend more resiliency training meetings and connect with more potential resiliency partners who were better equipped for this new virtual environment. Soon, a board for the Pender County Resiliency Task Force was assembled, and the Task Force was accepted into the ReCONNECT NC: Mental Health & Well-Being initiative through NC State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues. This acceptance will aid the Pender Task Force in various areas such as visibility, storytelling, and strategic planning. Annie Murphy, a social worker for Pender County Department of Social Services, will be virtually presenting the story of the Task Force at the ReCONNECT NC: Mental Health & Well-Being Conference on October 29, 2020. The Pender County Resiliency Task Force invites anyone who is interested to join. Their goal is for all corners of Pender County to be reached with trauma-informed and resiliency-focused programs in order to help citizens combat the negative health effects of toxic stress induced by trauma and events such as COVID-19 and hurricanes. Their first meeting will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, September 22nd at 10:00 AM.
Original blog post: