Most people know about Substance Use Disorders (SUD) because the disease has affected their lives in some way, but very few people know about the Power of Prevention. ACT Missouri asked a few former conference attendees to describe how attending our conference benefits them in their varying professional fields.
Law Enforcement’s involvement in coalition work is essential to a well-balanced approach to community change. They see first-hand the havoc and devastation that SUDs cause to individuals, children, families, and communities, so it is important that they also have the first hand in prevention.
“The conference broadens an officer’s knowledge of how prevention and treatment strategies work so they can find other solutions to community problems.” Sgt. Larry Stobbs, St. Joseph Police Department
The Faith Community is also an important part of the prevention solution, and faith leaders can be very instrumental in helping struggling individuals find healing through spirituality and acceptance.
“Attending the MO Substance Use Prevention Conference, not only has a wealth of resources for how to help individuals, families and communities, it also provides basic, fundamental information that is easy to understand. Therefore, by attending this conference faith leaders can educate themselves around what Substance Use Disorders are and how best they can assist and support their communities. Armed with this information, faith leaders can now support their communities without the stigma of shame that often prevents or at best delays the help that is needed.” Reverend Darren Faulkner
“I believe the conference would be valuable for a representative from any church looking to make a difference in their community. Many churches, especially in smaller or rural communities, have limited resources, but they do have some resources! That makes it vital to see what others are doing and get ideas for ways they can contribute. Maybe they have a classroom that is only used on Sunday morning and another group needs a place to meet, or maybe retirees in the church would make good mentors. Churches must realize that the people who most need help are probably not just going to show up at church on their own, but if churches are visible and partnering in the community, faith-based solutions are an important part of the community conversation. Bringing people together at the conference is a wonderful way to get the wheels turning.” Cynthia Thomas, The General Council of the Assemblies of God
Educators spend all day with our youth and play a vital role in building resiliency and increasing protective factors.
“The 2016 Substance Use Prevention Conference was excellent. Most of the workshops were appropriate and informative for those in public education. This conference also provided the opportunity for professionals from different fields but with the common goal of improving the lives of children to network and learn.” Tommy Geeding, Nevada High School
Those who work in Juvenile Justice see how family substance use manifests in generational behavioral health complications and issues. They also can make a lasting difference for a young person in helping them to make positive choices to change the direction of their lives.
“Attending the Prevention Conference allowed me to bring back new ideas and information on how to address certain cases in various towns within the county I work in. Not every case is the same, so having new ways to approach situations is very beneficial, especially when working with juveniles. These new ideas and information have also been passed along to the various towns in the county I work in, which has limited resources, and has benefited the communities a lot as the schools and police departments have been able to work on new and improved prevention programs within their respective towns using this new information.” Christine Hannis, Deputy Juvenile Officer
These are only a few spokes on the Community Wheel that make successful prevention initiatives and coalitions. Please invite these other sectors to join the Power of Prevention: youth, parents, business and industry, media, fraternal and civic organizations, and healthcare professionals. Attending our conference is a fantastic foundation for the village it takes to raise strong, substance-free children!