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County Offices

Southern Clark County Programs

Healthy Steps to Freedom

Spinach Chicken Pomegranate salad The curriculum promotes nutrition, and participants learn about essential nutrients, meal planning, food labels and portions, calcium intake, disordered eating and more. Photo by Karolina Grabowska.

Program teaches nutrition and healthy lifestyles that address weight and energy concerns in women with substance abuse issues

Relevance/Issue

Over half of the individuals in treatment for methamphetamine and other stimulants are women. Recent research shows that women mainly use methamphetamine and other stimulants to lose weight and boost energy, despite knowing that the drugs can cause organ damage, medical issues, impaired decision-making and broken familial relationships. However, most women do not know that much of the weight lost is from dehydration and loss of muscle, bone mass and other vital tissues. As a result, when women rapidly gain weight during recovery or mental health treatment due to their bodies healing, physical inactivity, poor nutrition and/or as side effects of prescribed medications, the excess gain often leads women to feelings of hopelessness and inability to control their weight. These feelings can negatively affect their mental health and lead to poor choices, such as skipping prescriptions because of the possible side effects of weight gain, or even returning to drug use to lose the weight again.

Response/What’s Been Done

Extension developed Healthy Steps to Freedom in 2007 to help women in substance abuse treatment, especially those with low energy, eating issues and weight concerns. The curriculum promotes nutrition, physical activity and body acceptance as healthy approaches to addressing weight and energy concerns. Participants learn about essential nutrients, meal planning, food labels and portions, exercise and strength activities, calcium intake, the effects of negative body image, and disordered eating. Over 2,400 adults and 1,000 youth have been reached, including 450 adults and 261 youth in 2017. The 10-week program is active in prisons and substance abuse recovery centers in Washoe and Clark Counties.

Since 2009, the program, with the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies, also gave substance abuse and mental health care providers continuing education credits and important knowledge and resources to present the program at their treatment facilities in multiple states.

Results/Impact and Partners

In 2017, 268 participants completed both pre- and post-program tests. Compared to before completing the 10-week program, after completing the program:

  • 267 participants had healthier and more realistic weight goals compared to harmfully low weight goals pre-program
  • 266 participants showed an increase in their knowledge of healthy practices
  • 215 participants reported implementing healthier behavior choices and thought processes
  • 266 participants demonstrated an improved attitude about body image and perception of one’s self
  • 267 participants paid more attention to their body’s hunger cues rather than manually tracking food intake
  • 265 participants spent more time being physically active and less time sitting

After the program, many participants implemented their newly learned healthy lifestyle behaviors at home. For women with children, making these positive changes at home also helped improve their children’s health.

Partners included the University of Nevada, Reno Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies; Choices Group, Inc.; Clark County Juvenile Detention Center; Nevada Department of Corrections (Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Facility and Jean Conservation Camp); University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and WestCare Nevada.

IMPACTS




3,400+

adults and youth have been reached



215

participants reported implementing healthier behavior choices and thought processes in 2017



266

participants demonstrated an improved attitude about body image and perception of one’s self in 2017



“Linking body image/weight issues with my addiction for the first time in my life has been extremely profound for my recovery”

— Program participant, Nevada Department of Corrections


Contact: Annie R. Lindsay, 702-940-5434

Programs Program Information

4-H Youth Development

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.

All 4 Kids

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s All 4 Kids: Healthy, Happy, Active, Fit program is an interdisciplinary approach to addressing child obesity. Developed by Cooperative Extension faculty from maternal/child nutrition, exercise physiology and child development, the All 4 Kids program helps children meet the Nevada Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) Standards while encouraging preschool children and families to practice healthy eating habits and be active every day.

Career Edge: Teens Taking Charge of Their Future! A Workforce Readiness Program

The Career Edge: Teens Taking Charge of Their Future! A workforce readiness program for high school students focused on skill development for workplace and job success. Career Edge helps high school students prepare to get their first "paying" job while working toward their dream job or career. Career Edge provides information and training on interview skills, résumé development, filling out applications, finding job leads and selecting appropriate clothing for the workplace. In addition, many "soft skills" needed in the workplace such as decision-making, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership are integrated throughout the program.

Commercial Landscape Horticulture

Thistles prepared for the “Noxious Weeds and Weed Law” green industry class

Desert Green, Commercial Water Conservation Training

Desert Green is in its eleventh year and is designed to educate commercial clientele in the Green Industry as well as others who have an interest in water conservation issues. A committee representing the industry implements the training. Desert Green is chaired by one industry representative and one UNCE representative. The program is presented once a year, with 36 classes taught in a two-day period. A committee of industry representative reviews evaluations from the previous year to decide future educational direction and topics. During the evaluation process, the program is reviewed, modified and revised according to the needs of the clientele. As part of the marketing of this program, two articles citing the importance of Desert Green appear in regional trade publications.

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

Exploring Your True Colors: Building an Effective Team & Team Development Course

Team Development Course

Family Storyteller Literacy Program

National award-winning Family Storyteller is a literacy program aimed at encouraging and training parents to play a vital role in the literacy development of their children. Developed by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE), KNPB-TV, the Washoe County libraries and Washoe County School District, the statewide program creates an opportunity for parents and young children to interact around literacy and language activities. Family Storyteller is designed especially for families that may have limited language skills and few children’s books at home.

Food for Thoughts, School Garden

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Food for Thoughts Program offers children an alternative site for learning, promotes awareness of the desert environment, demonstrates the geographic sources of their food, and encourages healthy eating and activities.

Fun To Play

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Fun To Play program targets families where, due to the young age, inexperience or limited resources of the parents, young children are placed at-risk for developmental delays and later school difficulties. Fun To Play is a series of weekly infant/child sessions aimed at improving the parenting skills of young parents by increasing the amount of learning activities and interaction they provide their children.

Healing gardens in Las Vegas

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension healing gardens essentially become outdoor sanctuaries for people who are hospitalized as well as their families and the staff that works with them.

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS)

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS) is a compilation of evidence-based engagement and assessment tools that is used to audit and map community environmental features that support and/or hinder healthful eating and physical activity among community members. The MAPPS method integrates photography, participatory community mapping using global positioning system (GPS) technology, and residents’ voiced perceptions of their community. HEAL MAPPS engages people in community-based participatory research to document attributes of the rural community environment that are perceived by residents as obesity preventing or promoting and assess the local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain/overweight and obesity among children and their families.

Healthy Eating on a Budget

The Healthy Eating on a Budget program has been integrated into the TANF Work Readiness workshop as a SNAP-Ed program. The purpose of the 8-lesson series is to provide SNAP recipients with education on healthy nutrition and physical activity practices, food resource management, food safety and food security.

Healthy Steps to Freedom

Spinach Chicken Pomegranate salad

Keeping Kids Safe: Recognizing, Reporting and Responding to Child Maltreatment

young girl sitting at desk in empty classroom

Little Books and Little Cooks

Children scooping soil from a wheelbarrow into a carton

Living With Fire

Be Ember Aware publication

Master Gardeners in Nevada

 A bumblebee pollinating a yellow flower

Nevada Naturalist

Women kneeling near animal tracks on a trail

Pick a better snack™ (formerly Chefs for Kids)

This evidence-based campaign focuses on building fruit and vegetable consumption in children through healthy snacking. Pick a better snack™ is a monthly, in-school nutrition education program for primary grade children in at-risk elementary schools in Clark and Washoe counties in Nevada. In addition to direct instruction, staff works with school wellness coordinators to build meaningful and sustainable programming to create a well environment in every school.

Statewide Programs *Statewide programs may not be available in all counties

Programs Program Information
Cattlemen’s Update
Food Safety Project
Grow Your Own, Nevada
Herds and Harvest
Integrated Riparian Management/Creeks and Communities
Invasive Species (Weeds)
Nevada Radon Education Program
Nevada State GEAR UP
Nevada Youth Range Camp
People of the Land
Pesticide Safety Education Program
Risk Management
Stronger Economies Together
Weed Prevention and Management
Youth for the Quality Care of Animals