Strategic Planning Initiative for Families and Youth (SPIFFY) Coalition is recipient of $100,000 grant for substance abuse prevention

Home E CES Stories E Strategic Planning Initiative for Families and Youth (SPIFFY) Coalition is recipient of $100,000 grant for substance abuse prevention
Article Author: Martha Maloney
Publication Name: Collaborative for Educational Services
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NORTHAMPTON, MA – The SPIFFY Coalition, administered by the Collaborative for Educational Services, is pleased to announce the award of a $100,000 (renewable for up to four years) Massachusetts Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative (SAPC) grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS.) Funding comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The purpose of the SAPC grant is to implement or amend local policy, practice, and systems to prevent substance abuse within Massachusetts communities, and increase both the number and capacity of municipalities across the Commonwealth to address these issues.

The SPIFFY Coalition works with local communities to reduce youth risk factors that increase the risk of youth engaging in unhealthy behaviors, while increasing protective factors that encourage youth to make healthy choices.

This SAPC grant will strengthen an existing network dedicated to preventing underage drinking and marijuana use in five cities/towns in Hampshire County – Amherst, Ware, Hadley, South Hadley and Northampton. Municipal leaders, including school superintendents, mayors, town managers, select board members, police chiefs and public health directors, signed MOU’s to share resources and coordinate activities in order to increase the scope of the work and address these issues among their combined populations.

According to Sue Cairn, Director of the Department of Healthy Families and Communities at the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES), which administers SPIFFY, “We are thrilled to receive the SAPC grant, which will enable SPIFFY to expand its prevention work through collaboration with local municipalities, schools and higher education institutions. This grant will also dovetail nicely with the work of the recently formed Hampshire Heroin/Opioid Prevention Education (HOPE) coalition.”

SPIFFY has been addressing youth substance use prevention for over 15 years. SAPC collaborative partners include: Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, Hampshire United Way, Northampton Prevention Coalition, South Hadley Prevention Coalition, Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, HOPE Coalition, ServiceNet, Casa Latina, Quaboag Hills Community Coalition, Carson Center, Clinical Support Options, Amherst College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. SAPC partners will work to adopt policies and systems change that prevent underage drinking and marijuana use. To further understand how best to impact underage drinking and marijuana use, SAPC will identify local needs, gaps and best practices. This will inform the development of a regional strategic plan. Heather Warner will be the lead SAPC Coordinator, and is housed at the Collaborative for Educational Services.

For more information, contact Sue Cairn, Director, Department of Healthy Families and Communities, Collaborative for Educational Services.

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