The Monroe County Safe Community Coalition along with the Monroe County Human Services
Department hosted a county wide Substance Use Prevention Day on Wednesday, April 19 th at the Tomah
Sophomore students across the Monroe County School Districts attended a full day of instruction and
hands-on-learning on a variety of topics relating to substance use, mental health and distracted driving.
Students listened to speakers talk about Vaping and Tobacco Usage, Mental Health: Anxiety and
Depression and Substance Use – stories of use and recovery. They watched a Safety Belt Simulator from
the WI State patrol which showed students how important seat belts are, even at 5mph. Fort McCoy
brought their Driving Impaired Simulator-SIDNE. Students wore Fatal Vision Goggles while driving an
obstacle course. These goggles gave the students the feeling as if they are under the influence of
alcohol, drugs/marijuana. They were also asked to perform other types of tasks while wearing the
Tomah Police Department and Fire Department set up a mock crash and talked with students
about the dangers and difficulties of extracting a person from a crash. Tomah and Sparta Ambulance
Service were there talking about Narcan and drug related injuries. Monroe County Sheriff’s Department
and Sparta Police Department were on site talking about gun safety and gave the students a chance to
see the inside of a police car.
Students rotated through these breakout sessions throughout the day ending with a keynote speaker,
Melissa Duoss, Pharmacist at Tomah Health. Melissa was involved in a distracted driving car accident
when she was younger and will be sharing her story of the accident and her healing journey.
This event was funded by a grant received from Monroe County Human Services, Monroe County Safe
Community Coalition, and Mayo Clinic Health System.
This event wouldn’t be possible without the volunteers and support from Monroe County Safe Community Coalition, Next Steps for Change, Monroe County Department of Health, Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, LaCrosse County 7C’s Health
Initiative, Agents for Change, PATH, Tomah School District Nurses, Tomah & Sparta Ambulance, Fort
McCoy, Tomah Police Department, Sparta Police Department, WI State Patrol and Tomah Health.
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