Expert offers sound advice to WellSpring crowd at annual meeting

Peyton Curtis helps Sensei Padme Grace during the Bully Buster breakout group at the fourth annual WellSpring Town Hall meeting May 17 at Ilwaco High School.

ILWACO — The fourth annual WellSpring Town Hall meeting was held on the campus of Ilwaco High School Tuesday, May 17, and about 100 people attended. Dinner of ham, baked potato, green beans, tossed salad and dessert was served promptly at 5:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. The throng then moved to Hilltop Auditorium to listen to keynote speaker Nigel Wrangham before participating in  one of several breakout sessions in various classrooms.

“Medication for mental health problems is up 35 fold since 1987. We are medicating the mal-adjusted to a sick society,” Wrangham told the audience. He asked how many people knew someone who had died from marijuana use and four hands went up, from meth and 20 hands were in the air, and then from alcohol and almost everyone of the 100 or so people had their hands raised.

“We have a bigger problem than addictions. Our thoughts become reality. When we concentrate on problems like bullying, drug abuse, and dropping out of school those become real to us. We should be thinking of respecting others, keeping our body well, and staying in school,” Wrangham said.

“Companies have us addicted to relief — aspirin for pain, a new car to feel happy, deodorant to be popular. Advertisers know that relief is temporary and people have to keep coming back for more,” Wrangham related. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we were told that we were amazing, that we were OK, full of love, accepted by others? Wouldn’t it be a better world where almost anything is possible?”

Wrangham then asked the audience what they wanted to be when they grew up. People of all ages said an orthodontist, pastor, video-game creator and musician. “How about wanting to be happy, free, strong, loved and not focusing on what we do?” he said. “Don’t be like someone in a beautiful flower garden that is color blind and doesn’t have a sense of smell. Find your story,” Wrangham concluded.

IHS Principal Marc Simmons then invited the guests to the different breakout sessions. They included Neighborhood Watch (led by LBPD Chief Flint Wright), Washington State Youth Suicide Prevention (led by Jennifer Barons), MOMS Club (led by Lee Knott), Farm to School Program, and Safe Homes Network.

To find out more about WellSpring go to the website, or call 783-1090. Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month at 3 p.m. at the South Pacific County Administration Building (7013 Sandridge, Long Beach) and everyone is welcome.

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