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Yakima Community Coalition Kick Off Meeting

Hosted by: Educational Service District 105/ Yakima Community Coalition

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How does alcohol and other drug misuse affect your community?

Working in the beer and wine industry are how many families support themselves in the Yakima community. Alcohol use is a difficult topic to discuss, but it is important for our coalition to shed light on the long-term impact of alcohol use. Because alcohol is so prominent in our community, it is that much more important to teach youth about healthy boundaries and the illegality of alcohol use for those under 21, without denigrating a parent’s ability to provide for their family.

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What challenge(s) did you face in planning your activity this year?

  • Lack of interest from the community
  • Particularly severe or resistant substance use issues in our community
  • Unforeseen difficulties when planning our activity
  • Lack of awareness of our event or organization
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How did you overcome these challenges?

This event allowed us to gain momentum as a new coalition in our community. Our previous coalition went through years of trying to find common ground in terms of developing community initiatives and delegating tasks. During our Communities Talk planning process, we decided that the existing coalition would be split to form a new organization. Since then, we have grown our new coalition, expanded our partnerships and outreach within the schools, made stronger connections with healthcare agencies, and partnered with other community coalitions to widen the reach of our prevention efforts.

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What are your next steps?

  • Expand our coalition with new partnerships in the community
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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

  • StopAlcoholAbuse.gov website
  • Communities Talk website
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How did a Communities Talk event help you address those issues?

  • Mobilized coalition members or other stakeholders
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How did your event make an impact on underage drinking in your community?

This event encouraged us to change from a traditional top-down prevention model to a bottom-up one. We found that our prevention strategies worked best when we focused on listening to our community members’ concerns rather than focusing on the goal of our agency.

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