Everett Community Health Partnership – Substance Abuse Coalition (ECHP-SAC)
ECHP-SAC, an initiative of the Cambridge Health Alliance’s Department of Community Health Improvement, is a community based prevention coalition committed to bringing together and mobilizing the diverse community of Everett to address issues associated with substance abuse while promoting positive health and well-being, especially among our youth. Through a range of prevention efforts, the coalition uses multiple strategies in multiple settings to change the social norms on alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use.
The Coalition was formed in 2004 and has been funded by substance abuse prevention grants from the state, federal government and other non-profit organizations.
The coalition follows public health principles to address community needs through:
- Collaboration among residents, schools, health care organizations, local government and other community partners
- Shared community responsibility for change
- Utilization of local data for decision-making
- Use of successful models including evidence based practices to shape program development strategies
To support those principles, the Coalition follows the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) to select, implement, and evaluate culturally appropriate, sustainable prevention activities.
- The coalition maintains representation from all sectors in the Everett community. This includes: Local government, schools, law enforcement, parents, youth, businesses, youth serving organizations, religious/fraternal organizations, civic/volunteer groups, healthcare professionals, organizations with substance abuse expertise and media.
Priority areas of focus in substance abuse prevention:
- Youth leadership, development and engagement
- Evidence based prevention curriculum in the schools
- Data collection including the Youth Risk Behavior Survey
- Community outreach, education, resources and tools
- Supporting parents to build stronger family communication
- Policy efforts at the local, state and national levels strengthening prevention, treatment and recovery
ECHP-SAC’s initiatives include:
TEASA’s mission is to raise awareness in the Everett community of the harmful effects of substance use and abuse by youth. TEASA provides opportunity for youth leadership and strives to model positive behavior, encouraging other teens to make responsible and healthy decisions.
PACE is a group of parents with middle school age youth in Everett who are taking a stand against underage drinking, and substance use by teens in our community. The Power of 6 campaign was developed by PACE to support family communication around prevention.
OPEN is a regional collaborative aimed at reducing opioid overdoses, and the misuse and abuse of prescription pain medications in Cambridge, Everett, Somerville and Watertown (link to OPEN website)
Mental Health First Aid is training that helps you identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. ECHP-SAC facilitates trainings throughout the year for the community.
The Everett Youth Network, coordinated by ECHP-SAC, facilitates youth development & leadership in several ways. The Network is a collaboration of youth workers and individuals who provide direct-service, support & guidance to youth and youth-serving organizations in Everett.