The Coalition was formed in 2014 in response to a fervent “Call to Action” from the senior leadership of Northwestern Regional School District No. 7. Region 7 reached out to EdAdvance for assistance in forming a regional Coalition in NW CT focused on improving substance use and mental health resources and services for school-age youth. The Coalition’s membership has grown to include all school districts in the region as well as representatives from local Youth Bureaus, Prevention Councils, community and hospital-based behavioral health and substance use providers, youth-serving community agencies, faith-based organizations, civic organizations, parents, youth, news media, law enforcement, juvenile court support services, local chief elected officials, community mental health authorities, and state legislators.
A major focus of the Coalition’s work was its partnership in Project AWARE-NW CT. In collaboration with EdAdvance, the Coalition was a key collaborator in implementation of the SAMHSA NITT- Project AWARE grant awarded to EdAdvance in September 2015. Project AWARE - Northwest CT worked to improve behavioral health outcomes by building and sustaining the capacity of schools and communities for early detection and appropriate response to mental health and substance use issues impacting adolescents (ages 12-18). YMHFA trains youth-serving adults (ages 18 and older) and high school juniors and seniors on early identification of mental health and substance use issues in adolescents and how to support and initiate appropriate connections to behavioral health assistance and services within the community.
For more information on Youth Mental Health First Aid Training, please click here.
If you’re interested in coordinating and collaborating to help improve mental health and substance use services for youth and adolescents in Northwest Connecticut, we’d love to have you join the Coalition.