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Faith and Blue Community Health and Wellness

Hosted by: Beyond The Bell Inc.

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Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.

Beyond The Bell collaborated with the Conyers, Georgia, Police department as well as the Conyers faith-based community to provide community members with information regarding the health and safety of our youth and families. The collaborative event featured a guest speaker who in the past battled alcohol and drug addiction and was able to recover and provide relative information to young people about the dangers of alcohol and drug use. Also, the Chaplain of the Conyers Police Department provided inspiration to the community and encouraged parents to reach out for help if their children are showing signs of drug use or any other adverse behaviors. The police chief spoke to participants about how the police department is there as a community partner and is willing to help in whatever way possible to ensure the health and safety of the community, and that they are not the enemy. He advised community members to ask questions during the event, get clear answers, and see the police as a community partner. Members of the police department gave presentations on how their weapons are used to prevent crime and how they use other tactics before the use of their guns. The event was very successful.

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How does alcohol and other drug misuse affect your community?

Underage drinking and marijuana misuse among youth and young adults in the Upson County Community is on the decrease. We use community surveys as well as the Georgia Student Health survey, focus groups and community events to collect data. Our readiness scores in this community has increased from 4 to a 7 and 8 in marijuana use which indicates stabilization and 8 in alcohol which is confirmation/expansion.in the past 3 years.

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Which prevention strategy(ies), as defined by SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, best fit your Communities Talk activity?

  • Environmental Strategy - focuses on establishing or changing community standards, codes, and attitudes thereby influencing incidence and prevalence of alcohol and other drug use within the community. The strategy depends on engaging a broad base of community partners, focuses on places and specific problems, and emphasizes public policy.
  • Information Dissemination Strategy - focuses on improving awareness and knowledge of the effects of AOD issues on communities and families through “one-way” communication with the audience such as speaking engagements, health fairs, and distribution of print materials.
  • Education Strategy – focuses on “two-way” communication between the facilitator and participants and aims to improve life/social skills such as decision making, refusal skills, and critical analysis.
  • Alternative Strategy – focuses on redirecting individuals from potentially problematic situations and AOD use by providing constructive and healthy events/activities.
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What goal(s) did you hope to accomplish with your Communities Talk activity?

  • Hold meetings or discussion groups on alcohol and/or other drug misuse prevention.
  • Create alcohol and/or other drug misuse prevention action groups (e.g., committees, task forces, and advisory boards).
  • Start a youth-led coalition on alcohol and/or other drug misuse prevention.
  • Build coalitions with other agencies or programs to reduce and prevent alcohol and/or other drug misuse.
  • Work with my local legislators or policymakers to educate about the importance of changes to, or recommend enforcement of, existing laws and policies.
  • Parents received valuable information from law enforcement, and there was great participation from the audience.
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Did you accomplish your goal(s)?


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

  • Our event did not take place on the planned date, August 1, 2023, due to weather conditions. It was rescheduled to October 6, 2023, which was a Friday evening.
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We identified a date that would be work best for the law enforcement and community.  Te event  was rescheduled and took place on October 6, 2023.

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What are your next steps?

  • Host follow-up meetings or activities
  • Expand our coalition with new partnerships in the community
  • We are preparing for another event and would like to host annual events similar to this activity.
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If you’ve conducted Communities Talk activities in prior years, how has your repeated participation contributed to progress in achieving your prevention goals?

This event surpassed previous events held. We had a larger turnout and great participation.

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Organizations that conduct Communities Talk activities often involve other organizations in the planning and execution of events. Please indicate which type(s) of organizations you involved in your activity planning.

  • Faith-based based organizations
  • Law enforcement
  • Youth-led organizations
  • Local businesses
  • State and local government agencies (e.g., public health departments)
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Which of the following best describes the primary audience(s) for your Communities Talk activity?

  • Youth
  • Parents
  • Law enforcement officials
  • Clergy
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How did you reach and engage your primary audience(s) to encourage them to participate in your activity?

Flyers were distributed to community organizations, and the Conyers Police Department posted the event date on their website.

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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

  • SAMHSA’s Event Planner
  • Communities Talk website
  • Communities Talk planning guides

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