The Hub: Behavioral Health Action Organization for Southwestern CT
A division of the Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership (RYASAP)
We support the communities of Southwest CT in preventing substance misuse and suicide and promoting mental wellness.
In order to address issues impacting substance use prevention and mental health, our local prevention councils (LPCs) work together with representatives from 12 sectors in the community. They are youth, parents, business, media, school, youth-serving organizations, law enforcement, religious or fraternal organizations, civic or volunteer groups, healthcare professionals, state or local agencies, and other local organizations.
The SPF includes five steps:
Assessment: Identify local prevention needs based on data (e .g ., What is the problem?)
Capacity: Build local resources and readiness to address prevention needs (e .g ., What do you have to work with?)
Planning: Find out what works to address prevention needs and how to do it well (e .g ., What should you do and how should you do it?)
Implementation: Deliver evidence-based programs and practices as intended (e .g ., How can you put your plan into action?)
Evaluation: Examine the process and outcomes of programs and practices (e .g ., Is your plan succeeding?)
The SPF is also guided by two principles that should be integrated into each of the steps:
Cultural competence. The ability of an individual or organization to understand and interact effectively with people who have different values, lifestyles, and traditions based on their distinctive heritage and social relationships.
Sustainability. The process of building an adaptive and effective system that achieves and maintains desired long-term results.
What A Coalition Does
Our coalitions use CADCA's seven evidenced-based strategies to make positive changes in their communities.
Individual Change Strategies
1. Provide Information: Educational presentations, workshops or seminars or other presentations of data (e.g., public announcements, brochures, dissemination, billboards, community meetings, forums, web-based communication).
2. Enhance Skills: Workshops, seminars or other activities designed to increase the skills of participants, members and staff needed to achieve population level outcomes (e.g., training, technical assistance, distance learning, strategic planning retreats, curricula development).
3. Provide Support: Creating opportunities to support people to participate in activities/strategies that reduce risk or enhance protection.
Environmental Change Strategies
4. Enhance Access/Reduce Barriers: Improve systems and processes to increase the ease, ability and opportunity to utilize those systems and services (e.g., assuring healthcare, childcare, transportation, housing, justice, education, safety, special needs, cultural and language sensitivity). This can include identifying barriers and possible strategies to overcome.
5. Change Consequences (Incentives/Disincentives): Increasing or decreasing the probability of a specific behavior that reduces risk or enhances protection by altering the consequences for performing that behavior (e.g., increasing public recognition for deserved behavior, individual and business rewards, taxes, citations, fines, revocations/loss of privileges).
6. Change Physical Design: Change the physical design or structure of the environment to reduce risk or enhance protection (e.g., parks, landscapes, signage, lighting, outlet density).
7. Modify/Change/Develop Policies: Formal change in written procedures, by-laws, proclamations, rules or laws with written documentation and/or voting procedures (e.g., workplace initiatives, law enforcement procedures and practices, public policy actions, systems change within government, communities and organizations).
Our Areas of Focus
In CT, each municipality has a Local Prevention Council (LPC) whose goal is to increase public awareness of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) prevention and to stimulate the development and implementation of local prevention activities, with a primary focus on youth. Many also address social-emotional health, recognizing the strong relationship between substance misuse and mental health disorders.
LPCs are coalitions consisting of stakeholders from 12 identified sectors (named above). The Hub supports LPCs through regional coordination, technical assistance, and funding, including the recent Strategic Opioid Response grants.