By Christopher Roberson
The A Healthy Lynnfield Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is currently in the process of applying for status as a nonprofit organization. During its Feb. 12 meeting, the Coalition’s Steering Committee Chairman, Philip Crawford, said nonprofit status is required to accept proceeds from large fundraisers, such as the one coming up in May at Whole Foods Market. “They won’t write me out a check unless we have a 501(c)3,” he said.
Crawford said the fundraiser will run throughout May and could generate up to $10,000. “I’d hate not to be able to take advantage of that,” he said. “We can’t start bringing in speakers unless we know we have the money to pay for them.”
The group voted unanimously to approve a set of bylaws and Articles of Organization, both of which are required to become a nonprofit organization.
Crawford also said the results of the Youth Risk Survey have been very helpful in determining how to tackle things such as student anxiety. “There was a wide gamut of reasons why they were stressed out,” he said. “It’s not one thing, it’s 10 things.”
School Committee/Coalition Steering Committee Member Jamie Hayman said parents are also being faced with a new set of challenges. “This generation of parenting didn’t have social media, didn’t have email, didn’t have vaping,” he said.
Town Administrator Robert Dolan said having a psychologist in every school was always the top budget request during his 16 years as the mayor of Melrose. However, he said Melrose was able to hire a full-time substance abuse counselor through a grant.
“The biggest problem we have is people don’t know what to do,” said Dolan. “It’s mental health issues that lead to addiction.”