Who Are We
“To empower Douglas County youth, families, and the community by implementing positive change strategies that prevent and reduce youth substance use.”
The Douglas County Healthy Youth Coalition was established in March of 2016 as a component of the Douglas County Mental Health Initiative. The coalition is comprised of numerous agencies in Douglas County that have a stake in youth substance abuse prevention or treatment.
The Coalition is built around the community and meant to provide a cross-sectional representation of community members. The sectors represented at the table include mental health providers, law enforcement, first responders, local hospitals, the county school district, human services, the district attorney’s office, the faith-based community, and youth-serving organizations, parents and community members.
The goals of the Coalition are to reduce:
- Underage drinking among persons aged 12- 20
- Prescription drug misuse and abuse among persons aged 12- 25
- Underage marijuana use among persons aged 12-20
Our vision is an empowered community that promotes the health and well-being of all youth in Douglas County.
The Coalition is utilizing the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) public health model, which is a five-step planning process to guide states, jurisdictions, tribes, and communities in the selection, implementation, and evaluation of effective, culturally appropriate, and sustainable prevention activities. The 5 strategies include:
- Assess prevention needs based on data
- Build prevention capacity
- Develop a strategic plan
- Implement effective community prevention programs, policies, and practices
- Evaluate their efforts for outcomes
The SPF process:
- Promotes youth development
- Reduces risk-taking behaviors
- Builds assets and resilience
- Prevents problem behaviors across the life span of the programs
The idea behind the SPF is to use findings from public health research along with evidence-based prevention programs to build capacity and sustainable prevention. This, in turn, promotes resilience and decreases risk factors in individuals, families, and communities.
The Coalition is funded by a grant from The Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health to conduct a strategic assessment and planning process and implement evidence-based environmental prevention strategies in Douglas County
Douglas County Youth Leadership Board
Open to teens ages 13-18, participants will engage in positive youth development and learn ways to prevent youth substance abuse among their peers in the community. Involving youth as partners in making decisions that affect them increases the likelihood that the decisions will be accepted, adopted, and become part of their everyday lives.
Empowering youth to identify and respond to community needs helps them become empathetic, reflective individuals, setting them on a course to potentially continue this important work in their future. Meaningful youth engagement views youth as equal partners with adults in the decision-making process. In addition participants will explore a variety of teen related topics including health and wellness, violence prevention and mental health awareness.
The Douglas County Youth Leadership Board will collaborate with the Douglas County Healthy Youth Coalition to provide a teen voice and youth-driven substance abuse prevention campaign.
Interested in joining? Please fill out this form: Douglas County Youth Leadership Board Permission Form