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May 6th Event to Dedicate “Listen Longer” Chair Sites  Promoting Positive Youth Connections

Family & Youth Initiatives (FYI) and Chaffee County Youth Alliance (CCYA), each a part of Chaffee County’s Department of Human Services, announce the dedication of the Listen Longer Chairs installations with celebrations across the county on Saturday, May 6.

The purpose of the Listen Longer campaign is to help encourage Chaffee County residents to build stronger relationships between youth and trusted adults, as well as between youth and their peers, to support healthy decision-making.

The community is invited to join FYI, CCYA, and partners for the Listen Longer Chairs dedications beginning at 10:00 a.m. this Saturday, May 6.

FYI and CCYA will be dedicating the Listen Longer Chair sites with ribbon cuttings in Buena Vista at McPhelemy Park and Salida High School at 10:00 a.m., and Chipeta Park in Poncha Springs at 10:30 a.m.

FYI’s May 6 Listen Longer celebration centers around the dedication of chairs which are both visual art pieces that remind the community of the importance of meaningful conversations and functional sites for those conversations to take place. The Listen Longer campaign was first launched by FYI and CCYA in early 2022.

A countywide coalition of community members designed and implemented the Listen Longer Chairs and many of the site materials were donated by local businesses or agencies. The chairs themselves were funded by a grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation as part of a larger effort to reduce youth-impaired driving. More information about the Listen Longer campaign is available here.

Results of the 2021 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey

For the past several years, Chaffee County has taken part in a statewide survey assessing the relative health of the county’s children and risky behaviors associated with their age group. The every-other-year survey includes middle and high school youth. This year the survey reflected that 80 percent of youth in Chaffee County say that they have a trusted adult in their life that they could ask for help with a personal problem.

However, when asked about having had a conversation with that trusted adult about difficult topics like substance use, that statistic drops to under 60 percent of the county’s youth. These results signal that, although many young people in our county have trusted adult relationships, there are still major opportunities to deepen them.

Prevention research shows that when youth have a trusted adult or peer in their life and can have difficult conversations about issues like mental health and substance, it can be a major positive determining factor in youth reducing risky behaviors and experiencing positive health outcomes.

For more information, contact CCYA Coordinator Craig Bingham at