This coalition is a group of community members that have been impacted by or are concerned about substance abuse or mental health and want to improve our community’s quality of life. The coalition members work together on strategies to help prevent young people from ever trying or misusing drugs. It also works to create a community that helps support people who do have a substance use disorder or suffer from mental illness in staying safe, getting treatment, and maintaining their recovery.
There are currently 3 workgroups involved with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Coalition.
- Zero Suicide– A workgroup that focuses on the Zero Suicide Initiative which targets systems within the community to eliminate suicide. This movement takes a holistic implementation to impact a multitude of organizational systems including, clinical and behavioral health care, schools, public health departments, first responders, and law enforcement systems among others. It’s a specific set of strategies that operates under the foundation belief that suicide deaths are preventable.
- Access to Care– This workgroup’s mission is to make accessing and maneuvering through the various substance abuse and mental health resources and services within our community an easier, more effective, and more personal experience. Our goal is to ensure a full continuum of care by assessing gaps in care, utilizing warm hand off referrals, and through peer to peer support provided by recovery coaches.
- Substance Abuse Prevention– This coalition has been in existence for 9 years and now will shift under the HMC Umbrella. SAP has obtained a DFC grant that funds it’s work which focuses on creating a healthy community through policy change and best practices in order to ensure prevention of substance use and abuse. They aim to transform the community through shared values, beliefs, and attitudes that empower youth and adults to make healthy decisions.
Our Health Impact
- Developed first social host ordinance in the state of WI to prevent underage drinking.
- Self-reported underage binge drinking decreased from 26.4% in 2009 to 14.5% in 2017.
- Distributed a parent toolkit related to marijuana to middle and high school students in two school districts in the county.
- Created a toolkit for groups planning festivals and other events. This toolkit provides information on policies that can help prevent underage and binge drinking, which helps keep community members safe and the community clean. This group also completes alcohol sale compliance checks to help prevent the sale of alcohol to people who are underage.
- Distributed lock boxes, medication deactivation bags, and lock box resources to local organizations, nursing homes, hospice care centers, and community housing organizations.
If the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Coalition sounds like something you or your organization is interested in joining, please send HMC a message or contact:
SAP Workgroup- Cath Tease
Access to Care Workgroup- Carrie Redo
Suicide Prevention Workgroup- Donna Firman