Promoting Positive Changes Via Prevention
Newaygo County has had a substance abuse prevention affiliate since 1989 with the involvement of key leaders and agencies. The Newaygo County Community Collaborative (NC3) established the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Affiliate in 2007 and the Suicide Prevention Workgroup in 2009. In April of 2010, the NC3 Executive Council merged the two separate groups to form a more unified alliance in prevention, treatment and recovery for Newaygo County. The coalition is now known as the Headway Coalition and is made possible through a variety of state and federal funding opportunities and the support of the acting fiduciary for coalition, Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency (NC RESA).
The Headway Coalition partners with members and community agencies to utilize the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) to garner positive change related to substance abuse. This framework allows the coalition to identify and select evidence-based programs, policies, and practices to address specific areas identified as target priorities.
The Headway coalition is guided by the following statements:
Vision Statement: A supportive community that ensures all individuals and families are engaged, healthy and thriving.
Mission Statement: To align and integrate resources and efforts that reduce behavioral risk factors and support all aspects of prevention and recovery.
The 12-sector coalition representation uses data collected from the Michigan Profile for Health Youth (MiPHY), Supplemental Youth Survey (SYS), and local focus groups to identify priorities for the work of the coalition. Data driven collaborative problem solving and efforts of environmental change are at the core of the coalitions work to mobilize the community and act as a catalyst for change.
Of the 12-sector representation, the Headway Coalition has three substance specific action teams (tobacco, prescription drug, and marijuana) that were created to allow coalition/community members to devote energy in their area of passion. These action teams develop relevant, and data driven action plans to carry-out the work of the coalition.
A large part of the coalitions work revolves around partnerships with Newaygo County local high schools in the development of Youth Prevention Coalitions. These youth-led (adult facilitated) meetings strive to build prevention ambassadors in each of the local districts using peer-to-peer education. Youth Prevention Coalitions work to impactfully identify and address substance related factors relevant to their peers and community.
Helping to facilitate the coalitions efforts, the Headway Coalition employs two full time staff members from NC RESA. If you have any questions regarding the Headway Coalition or would like to know how you can be involved in the coalition, please contact Katherine Mater-Project Coordinator for Drug-Free Communities at 231-652-3625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.