Keene/Rindge

Colleges collaborate with substance abuse prevention

Monadnock Voices for Prevention, the Regional Public Health Network for Substance Misuse Prevention, Keene State College, Franklin Pierce University, and Cheshire County are partnering in a collaborative effort on The Partnership for Success II Grant.

The grant coordinates each of these organizations to construct and implement a plan of strategies that focus on substance misuse.

KSC and FPU will be surveying students to assess the perception and actual usage of substances. Both campuses are using appreciative inquiry to engage the community and discuss ideas. AI is an evidence-based change management approach that identifies the positive characteristics of an organization and focuses on the strengths to improve upon existing systems and create positive changes.

FPU will utilize information gathered through the AI process in conducting deliberative dialogue forums next year. KSC staff and students will be hosting and facilitating a one-day Appreciative Inquiry event on Oct. 10, engaging students, staff, faculty, residents, business owners, local politicians, etc., from the Keene community.

FPU has recently completed Life of an Athlete focus groups with campus administrators, coaches, athletes and students to highlight the positive attributes of the university. LOA is a program that encourages student athletes to make healthier choices to improve performances in all areas of life. Communities and schools who have implemented LOA have seen positive changes to community culture.

The campuses will also implement Photovoice. Photovoice is commonly used in community development, public health and education by combining photography with grassroots social action. The participants use photographs and discussion to express their perception of community. The discussion is put into a narrative that accompanies the photos and outreach plans.

If you would like to become involved in this effort, contact Katrina Lee or Polly Morris. Katrina Lee, is a higher education substance misuse prevention coordinator; she can be reached at klee@co.cheshire.nh.us or 617-838-7858. Polly Morris is the regional network substance misuse prevention coordinator; she can be reached at pmorris@mc-ph.org or 313-4248.

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