Youth CAN Coalition
The Youth CAN Coalition (CAN is an acronym of Claremont And Newport) was formed in January 2019 to address youth substance use in Claremont and Newport, New Hampshire (NH). The group originated from the Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network, which is hosted by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, NH’s only academic health system. The resulting partnership between Claremont and Newport, two neighboring communities, was a natural fit due to shared commerce, media, and social services. Together, they have a total population of just under 20,000 people. Today, Youth CAN’s mission is to prevent youth substance misuse by building strong and diverse partnerships in our community, and working collectively to increase protective factors among youth, families, and organizations.
In 2022, the Coalition was awarded the CDC’s Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant which awards $625,000 over 5 years ($125,000 per year). Since then, we have focused on 3 key goals:
- Raising our visibility in Claremont and Newport, especially by engaging DFC-defined sectors;
- Assessing local youth substance misuse through qualitative and quantitative data analysis;
- Initiating activities to address local risk factors and conditions to prevent and reduce use.
We have done so all within the design of recent DFC program guidelines, steadily addressing the first 3 steps of SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF): assessment, capacity, and planning.
It is our collective responsibility to protect and empower our youth to lead healthy and fulfilling lives, and we all have a role to play. That’s why DFC coalitions strive to engage 12 sectors of the community to come together towards a common goal. Some of these sectors include schools, law enforcement, youth serving organizations, local government, healthcare, faith and fraternal organizations, and many more!
Check out our accomplishments so far in our 2022 semi annual report!
For more information about Youth CAN, or to learn how to get involved, contact:
- Scott Blewitt
- Prevention Coordinator
Join our meetings – they happen on the 2nd Friday of each month from 11am-12pm by ZOOM
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
- Join the coalition!
- Attend monthly planning meetings *virtually*
- Like/Follow us on social media
- Volunteer to lead a positive youth experience
- Sponsor food or marketing for one of our events
- Help create promotional & educational materials
- Advocate for community change
Youth CAN is overseen by a Steering Committee of members. In addition, in order to accomplish the goals laid out in our action plan, we have broken up the strategies into 4 subcommittees. Each subcommittee is tasked with specific parts of the action plan and coalition members are encouraged to sign up for at least one subcommittee where they can use their strengths and skills. The four subcommittees are: evaluation, education & communication, policy & environment, and alternative activities.