Gary Drug Free Coalition Hosts 2nd Annual Youth Forum to Provide Public Health Awareness and Education

(Gary, IND) – Earlier this week, the Gary Drug Free Coalition (GDFC) hosted its 2nd Annual Youth Forum at the Gary Area Career Center. Hosted in partnership with the Gary Community School Corporation, the event provided public health education and awareness to over 200 youth from throughout Northwest Indiana. GDFC stakeholders presented to students on topics such as stress, self-medicating effects, physical and mental well-being, drug substances, tobacco, marijuana, vaping and marijuana’s effect on the mind body, and spirit.
“The central focus of the forum is to help our youth make wise choices and avoid harmful substances,” said Dr. McNulty, Manager of the Gary Community School Corporation. “Their mental well-being is also of concern, so we were sure to include workshops that encouraged them to explore their feelings.”

By providing these resources and early intervention opportunities for care within the region, GDFC hopes to cultivate a healthier population of future leaders in Northwest Indiana communities.

The Gary Drug Free Communities Coalition is comprised of members from various communities, including students, parents, faith-based organizations, higher education representatives, the Gary Community School Corporation, Methodist Hospitals, Edgewater Health, Community Advocates of Northern Indiana, ANTHEM, MDWise, public officials, legislators and a host of other non-profit organizations and businesses. 

“When we reach youth on these topics earlier, it makes a huge impact on their future and the future of our community,” said Denise Dillard of GDFC. “We are focused on teaching students and families the facts, myths and options for care, so they are armed with accurate information to make rational decisions. ”
Dillard shared that a comprehensive public health awareness campaign is the continued objective of the Coalition. Outreach continues to partner with other school Districts and to enlist more community partners.  
“We do this to strengthen the Region, its health, and its next leadership,” added Dillard.