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.
Substance use and misuse as well as mental health There are currently 5 workgroups involved with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Coalition.
- Suicide Prevention- A workgroup that focuses on the Zero Suicide Initiative which targets systems within the community to eliminate suicide. This movement takes a hostile 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 and tolls that operates under the foundation belief that suicide deaths are preventable.
- Access to Resources- 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.
- Development- A workgroup dedicated to helping organizations learn about grants to fund efforts related to the coalitions goals and seeking out grants for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Coalition.
- Community Education and Engagement- This workgroup has a unique advantage as it works with the four other workgroups within in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Coalition to gather information from all of the groups and utilize that information to educate the community. Community education and engagement can look like educational trainings, awareness workshops, town hall meetings, and various other forms of community engagement. This is a dynamic and energetic workgroup that is committed to the community.
Current Action Items
Participate in the Photo Voice project! Download the PDF instructions here!
The photo voice exhibit will be used to educate the community and help us inspire adults to connect with students at home and within the community. High school students will photograph images that help us tell a story about what works.Who inspires them? Where do they feel connected? How do they spend their free time? What does it look like to them to feel supported?
Submissions will become part of a traveling exhibit that help the coalition educate parents, community members, employers, educators and others through art to ask the question, whose protective factor are YOU?
Photographs will be categorized by protective factors: Connection to Family, Connection to School, Connection to Community, Connection to Peers/Individuals, Connection to Cultural Identify
Students need to submit their photo voice project by April 22nd and must have a parent permission slip signed and submitted with their project.
Join us May 13th 2019 for a public viewing of the Photo Voice Exhibit, a Community That Cares. See the artistic interpretation of local teens using art to reveal the significance of connection.
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.
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: