Local Prevention Councils, or LPCs, are made up of volunteers from diverse sectors in the community including the municipal sector, youth, parents, grandparents, business leaders, educators, law enforcement, faith-based organizations, healthcare professionals, concerned citizens, and other organizations. LPCs work to raise awareness about substance abuse and its impact on the community, families, older adults, and youth development. They plan and implement educational opportunities, local media campaigns, and other events around the topic of substance abuse prevention. In addition, they look to address policies at a local level that may have an impact on substance abuse.
To increase awareness of the impact of substance abuse and support services available in our community, empower the community to identify and implement prevention strategies, and reduce the stigma surrounding substance abuse.
Until recently, funding for Local Prevention Councils originating from the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, or DMHAS, has been administered by Regional Action Councils, or RACs. The RAC for this area is East of the River Action for Substance Abuse Elimination, Inc. (ERASE)
Recently, the nonprofit boards of ERASE and the North Central Regional Mental Health Board (NCRMHB) have expressed their intent to merge organizations and operations in order to carry out the work of an integrated mental health and addiction advisory service. Under DMHAS, the combined entity will be referred to as the North Central Region Behavioral Health Action Organization, or NCRBHAO.
Somers Comes Together receives a small annual allotment from DMHAS. Otherwise, funding comes from grants or private contributions.
In 2018, we were a proud recipient of a portion of the USA Hauling Community Development grant as well as the DMHAS Connecticut State Targeted Response grant.
Somers Comes Together conducts data collection to understand the problem of substance abuse in Somers. Student surveys and focus groups provide us with information on youth attitudes and behavior around alcohol and drug use. This data guides our work in the community, and our efforts are concentrated in the following areas:
- Education & outreach- educating youth, parents, and our community on the risks of underage substance abuse and prevention strategies
- Access & enforcement- reducing youth access to alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs; supporting local police in enforcing the laws that are in place to keep our youth safe.