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Apr 02

Farewell Letter from Todd Garrison

Dear ChildWise Friends,

After a long, challenging, and exciting career working passionately to do my part to elevate the well-being and futures of children and families, it is time to open another chapter in my life. Some people might say that I’m retiring, and that’s what might be expected after this career. But I like to think of it not as retiring, but re-wiring!

Yes, as of April 1st I’ve left ChildWise Institute! But what I’m really doing is re-imagining how I use my time on this planet. By that I mean that I will be spending a lot more time with my bride, Sue, doing the things we enjoy together – especially camping in the summer. And we’ll be spending a lot more time with our kids and grandkiddos, all of whom live in Southern California and Utah.

 

But my work for many years has not been a “job,” it’s been my passion. When a person is deeply involved in a human cause, it’s not something one can just walk away from like a factory job. I intend to stay engaged in the cause to elevate the well-being of our children, youth, families, and communities. For years I have been active with many committees and groups across Montana and the nation, and I intend to continue that involvement. Also, when time permits, I will continue to train and present in Montana and throughout the nation as opportunities arise. But my first love and commitment is to my family.

 

ChildWise Institute is a healthy, thriving, important organization in Montana; and its work will continue to grow in depth, breadth, and impact. All of my colleagues at ChildWise – Cathy Huntley, Tina Eblen, and Kati Bono – are personally vested in this work, and passionately devoted to the cause. Tina is the Interim Director.

 

Zig Ziglar was a personal friend of mine from way back. He once said, “Among the things you can give away and still keep are your word, your smile, and a grateful heart.”  Please know that I am very grateful to know you, and to have worked with you. I hope that our paths will cross many times, as we are all in this together.

 

With deep appreciation,

Todd Garrison

(406) 457-4741

udontquit@gmail.com

Feb 28

Trauma-Informed Care Resolution Passed in the House of Representatives

The Trauma-informed care resolution passed in the House of Representatives on Feb. 26, 2018!!  To read the full Resolution visit: House Resolution 443

Jan 24

Resilience As A Vital Sign

We overcome adversity through resilience and it’s empowering to know that we can build resilience at any age!

Click the link below to read the full article and the “David Letterman Top 10 List of Ways to Build Resilience.”

http://northbaybiz.com/Columnists/Live_Wise/Resilience_As_a_Vital_Sign.php

 

 

Jan 12

Native American Women Speak Out About Sexual Violence

“As the country has its national reckoning with cases of sexual harassment, abuse and inequalities, there is at least one overlooked group of women. The treatment of indigenous women in the U.S. and their accusations of sexual violence perpetrated against them have been seemingly ignored. According to U.S. government statistics, Native American and Alaska Native women are more than 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than other women in the country. Caroline Antone of the Tohono O’odham Nation near Tucson, Arizona, was molested when she was six years old and endured years of continued assault. As an adult, she has devoted herself to awareness, holding rape response clinics on tribal lands and encouraging others to no longer hide what happened to them.”

Click this link to watch this powerful video: https://www.nbcnews.com/leftfield/video/native-american-women-speak-out-about-sexual-violence-1134025795618

 

Jan 08

How do I know if I have a Problem with Substance Use?

“Over 21 million people suffer from addiction in the United States – that’s 1 in 7 people. On average, we lose 144 people a day to drug overdoses and that number climbs to 375 if you factor in alcohol-related deaths.”

For more information, a self-assessment, helpful resources and more, visit Addiction Policy Forum’s website:

http://www.addictionpolicy.org/signs-and-symptoms

 

Jan 04

How One School Dramatically Changed Its Students’ Behavior In One Year

Sometimes a problem can appear so big, so overwhelming that we wonder if a solution is possible.  This video is a great example of how the ‘impossible’ is ‘possible’.

Click the link below to see the video:

https://www.today.com/video/how-allen-elementary-changed-its-students-behavior-in-one-year-1127862339881

Jan 03

Ever Wondered What Resilience Looks Like?

We talk about “resilience” and we’ve all heard stories about the power of resilience in overcoming adversity.  Have you ever seen still shot images of resilience?  Click the link below to read Mary Annette Pember’s article titled “10 Photos: I Saw What Resilience Looks Like”.

http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/10-photos-that-show-what-resilience-looks-like-20171228

 

Dec 27

The Number of Newborns Who Experience Withdrawal from Opioids is Rising in Montana

 

It is perfectly normal and expected that newborn babies will cry.  What is unexpected is when newborns sweat, experience tremors and have shrill and high-pitched shrieks because they are going through withdraw. Even though many of these children will leave the hospital healthy, it’s unclear if there will be long-term psychological, social and physical impacts.

 

Copy and paste the link below to read the full article from the Montana Standard:

http://mtstandard.com/news/state-and-regional/children-bear-consequences-of-montana-s-failure-to-treat-mothers/article_a77e6213-03f8-5079-b741-4c5cc5c06167.html

 

Dec 26

Say NO to Distraction, Discouragement, and Devaluation!

To our collaborators, partners and cheerleaders —

It has been an incredible year! I truly believe with people like you and your teams, the future for our nation’s children and families looks brighter than ever! Yes, it’s a very long road, and hard, hard work. But we cannot allow the enormity of what needs to be done to distract us from doing it. We cannot allow naysayers to discourage us. We cannot allow those people with closed minds, or who are resistant to change, to devalue our work. Our nation’s children need us… need you!

I believe we are all called to a higher purpose than any one individual or any single organization. I recall one Saturday night when Rick Warren said, as a small part of his message, “We’re here on Earth sixty, seventy, eighty years, and then we’re gone.” It was a casual comment, but it struck me hard and deep at that moment how brief life really is. That was almost 23 years ago, and his comment still remains in my mind. It is easy to get caught up and bogged down in the “daily-ness” of our jobs. But I encourage you to take some time in these last few days of 2017 to  remember that your work – each and every day – has tremendous value to the children and families that need you. And together – with the power of our collective passion and devotion to this work – we are creating, and will continue to create positive change in this nation. Let’s make this nation safe, secure, and loving for our kiddos and each other.

I count myself very fortunate – blessed – to be working alongside people like you. The team at ChildWise Institute offer ourselves to you in service of your work and the well-being of children and families everywhere. Please let us know how we can increase our collective impact with you in this coming year.

In the meantime, I wish you a warm, peaceful and beautiful holiday!

Todd Garrison
Executive Director – Curator
ChildWise Institute
406-513-1177
ChildWise Institute

Dec 22

Elevate Montana is a statewide, grassroots movement dedicated to building resilient and connected communities throughout Montana.

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