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Substance Abuse Prevention and Mental Health Promotion

Since 2008, the Partnership for Community-based Prevention at the Voinovich School has generated nearly $11.5 million in external project funding from state and federal organizations, including the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) to provide training, technical assistance, and evaluation services in the fields of substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion. This has led to the co-creation of several highly innovative initiatives including:

  • Assisting 142 community-based organizations in 57 Ohio counties to enhance their capacity to successfully implement and sustain substance abuse prevention programs. By building structural capital in a culturally relevant manner, the Voinovich School is ensuring that Ohio’s rural and Appalachian communities have the infrastructure and shared knowledge necessary to effectively identify, prevent, and respond to the opioid crisis and other community problems.

  • Introducing Ohio Adult Allies of youth-led programs to the most up-to-date research on youth development and prevention. By providing this training and technical assistance, the Voinovich School is ensuring adoption of evidence-based approaches most likely to generate measurable, sustainable impact on substance abuse rates among Ohio teens. A cadre of these adult allies are now becoming leaders in the field, responsible for developing regional infrastructures to exchange and discuss best practices and research related to youth-led programming.

  • Working closely with 18 Ohio communities to prevent opioid use and abuse and reduce opioid-related deaths. This highly innovative Community Collective Impact Model for Change (CCIM4C) Initiative combines a data-driven, strategic planning process with an emphasis on working collectively across the continuum of care, reducing trauma, and promoting resiliency.

  • Embedding evidence-based prevention programming into support for families involved with the criminal justice system. As part of the Ohio’s Children of Incarcerated Parents Initiative, the Voinovich School worked with the Federation of Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Programs and OhioMHAS to help faith-based organizations, coalitions, and others engaged with the correctional, criminal justice, court, and reentry systems to embed evidence-based prevention programming into their current service systems.


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