Community that cares

Dear Editor,
Ouray County Communities that Care (CTC) would like to recognize and thank the all the members of our coalition. We thank you for the many hours that you have volunteered and we are so proud of the commitment and work that everyone has shown!
We are thrilled to be moving into phase four of five of the CTC process. This July marks the beginning of the third year for our CTC grant. Over the course of the last two years, the coalition has identified and engaged a diverse range of community members and key leaders. We have learned about prevention science and how we can use it to better our community.
The coalition formed several different workgroups: youth involvement, risk and protective factor assessment, resource assessment and evaluation, community board maintenance, community outreach, and funding.
Throughout the last year, the coalition has reviewed quantitative and qualitative data from the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, local businesses, community and youth. Using this information, we identified our community’s unique risk and protective factors, which are Availability of Substances (Community level) and Favorable Attitudes Toward Substance Use (Individual level), and Opportunities and Recognition for Prosocial Involvement.  
The coalition reached out to all of the youth serving organizations in Ouray County to identify and fill gaps in our community’s resources.
Now that we have a better idea of the programs and policies in our community, we can move forward by addressing those. The following are the community-level prevention strategies and programs that we have selected to address:
1. Pursue sustainable, multi-sector funding for Youth Substances Abuse Prevention strategies.
2. Build public support for conventional enforcement of existing laws.
3. Build community support for ordinances, regulations and requirements for establishments selling liquor, marijuana or promoting substance use.
4. Utilize and leverage state mass media resources and campaigns to decrease favorable attitudes towards substance use and to change community and social norms, through education and outreach to parents, community members and visitors.
5. Promote the social development strategy (positive youth development) in the community.
6. Build public support for creating and maintaining evening community spaces for youth.
Our workgroups are now morphing into three different implementation groups: Communication and Outreach, Youth Involvement and Policy.  
The funding workgroup will also start meeting to create a sustainable model after the grant funding ends. The goals during this phase are to reduce widespread risks and strengthen protection, define clear, measurable outcomes using our assessment data and select and expand tested and effective policies and programs.

Alex Durham
Ouray County Communities That Care