Community engagement is essential in preventing drug and alcohol misuse. It helps benefit individual communities and drive social change by targeting socioeconomic issues like overdose disparities. The newly established Community Engagement Department at PreventEd has come together to elevate community voice and lived experience.
We have always believed that communication is essential in community engagement and education. But now we have made it a priority. Our Community Engagement team is dedicated to seeing both short- and long-term growth.
Prioritize Community Voices
The goal of the Community Engagement Department is to uplift and prioritize community voices. We need to hear from those that we serve to bring them the services they want and need. The Community Engagement Team has been tasked with creating a Community Advisory Board to strengthen partnerships with existing organizations and grassroots groups. This means professionals as well as formal and informal community leaders.
We are committed to engaging schools; creating stronger relationships among established partners; and creating new partnerships within historically ignored neighborhoods. This means meeting with the leaders of neighborhood structures like block captains and community centers like churches, libraries, and schools.
As an organization, we are working to establish partnerships within local faith communities. Why? Centers of faith like churches are important parts of many communities where people can find essential help, resources, and support. We have worked with the Faith Lutheran Church in South County on the 2019 “Stomp Out Addiction” walk. We want to replicate this success with other centers of faith.
Create Strong Relationships
Another goal of the Community Engagement Department is to create stronger relationships with our partners in school and community organizations. We have coalition meetings once a month and work to create more training opportunities for individuals and groups.
Whether Or Not You’re Part Of An Organization, You Can Take Action
Even outside of official programs, you can take action in your community:
If you want to get involved in your community, volunteering is a great place to start! There are many volunteer opportunities at PreventEd available, and we always welcome individuals who are passionate about reducing or preventing the harms of substance use.
Tell Your Story
Your story does matter! If you or a loved one has struggled with substance misuse, your experience can help others struggling as well. Your words can make all the difference to someone who needs encouragement, comfort, hope, or maybe even a nudge.
Telling your personal story and sharing it with PreventEd takes a lot of courage and can make a huge difference in the life of others.