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  • Writer's pictureUrsula Anderson

SRSLY Dexter Unveils Acronym Ahead of New Chapter




April 11, 2024


April 11, 2024 by Ursula Anderson

Community News


SRSLY Dexter has been around more than 10 years. You’ve probably heard of it, but you may not know what it means. Founded in 2012, the coalition’s name is pronounced “seriously,” but spelled without the vowels as it would be shortened in a text message. This made sense to teens at the time, but as technology changes, so do teens.


The SRSLY Dexter coalition is excited to release a new meaning for the name that showcases its commitment to foster healthy lifestyle choices among youth. SRSLY now stands for:


Students

Rising Up for

Substance Use Prevention

Leadership Skills &

Youth Mental Health


With the release of this new acronym comes the official extension of SRSLY’s mission to include support for youth mental health. Adding youth mental health support to SRSLY’s mission underscores the coalition’s recognition of the relationship between the two issues. “Mental health challenges often go hand in hand with substance use disorders and can even fuel or worsen them,” says Chrissie Kremzier, SRSLY Dexter’s director. “We are so excited to officially include mental health in our mission, as we know that addressing youth mental health in conjunction with substance use prevention will only strengthen our work. We have already seen an increase in student engagement since extending our mission to mental health,” explains Kremzier.


Grounded in prevention science research, SRSLY uses evidence-based strategies to reduce risk factors and strengthen protective factors to prevent youth substance abuse. This includes positive social norms, building youth leadership skills and organizing community events for youth.

One current mental health initiative involves SRSLY Dexter High School club members collaborating with Sarah Wilczynski, Mental Health Awareness and Training (MHAT) program coordinator for Chelsea Hospital. Together, they are launching a student-led campaign to combat mental health stigma and underscore the importance of mental well-being. By empowering Dexter High School students to lead this project, SRSLY acknowledges the invaluable perspective and influence that young people bring to creating a supportive environment for their peers. The goal of this initiative is to foster a safe space that promotes empathy and cultivates a school culture that values mental health for every student.


Looking ahead, as SRSLY Dexter’s 10-year Drug-Free Communities (DFC) federal grant ends in September 2024. While SRSLY Dexter has been supported by this grant, and local community grants from the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation, SRSLY Dexter will now be seeking larger community support to sustain its mission.


“Our fundraising aim is to sustain high-quality, pro-social opportunities for our community’s youth,” explained Ursula Anderson, SRSLY Dexter’s program coordinator. “Meeting our $10,000 annual fundraising target ensures continuity of cherished programs like our well-attended school leadership lunch clubs, a variety of youth events at the library—including monthly Magic the Gathering tournaments and annual street chalk workshops with artist David Zinn—and our White Lotus Summer Series, which offers an exceptional outdoor farm experience.” With the community’s backing, SRSLY remains committed to fostering mental well-being, resilience, and support among Dexter’s youth.


To learn more about SRSLY Dexter, check out www.srslydexter.org. Donations can be made at https://giving.trinityhealthmichigan.org/SRSLYDexter.



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