top of page

Do prevention efforts work?


Research over the years has given us proven strategies for preventing suicide and substance use. Since 2006, the Prevention Coalition has implemented these best practices in Jefferson County. Our partners include:

  • YouthLeaders

  • Parents

  • Business partners

  • Media

  • Schools

  • Youth serving agencies

  • Law enforcement

  • Faith community members

  • Local government

  • Local organizations

  • People with lived experience

We have learned that multiple levels of efforts can be blended, braided, and pooled, to improve the Mental, Emotional and Behavioral (MEB) health of our youth, families, community, culture and society.

Prevention Strategies.png

Mental Health Promotion 

Mental health is more than the absence of disease. Things that impact our mental health include our relationships, our positive emotions and resilience, the realization of our potential, safe and secure housing, employment, and our overall satisfaction with life.


Our state of mental health can change across the lifespan. Not having a mental illness does not guarantee good mental health. Similarly, having a mental illness does not guarantee poor mental health.


Things that contribute to good mental health include life satisfaction, self-acceptance, a sense of purpose, identity, feeling connected and belonging, empowerment, and resilience, which is the ability to bounce back after set-backs.

Most people think about mental illness when they hear "mental health."  We  use the terms "mental well-being" or "flourishing" instead. Well-being integrates mental health (mind) and physical health (body), resulting in more holistic approaches to disease prevention and health promotion.

Mental Health Promotion Includes:

  • Promoting positive mental health by increasing our psychological well-being and resilience;

  • Increasing a person's ability to accomplish tasks and goals;

  • Increasing a person's resilience or ability to adapt well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress; and,

  • Creating supportive biological, behavioral and environmental factors.

Prevention: There are three basic tiers of prevention:

  • Universal - Enhances public engagement in promotion for those at risk and those who are not. Universal prevention programs are aimed at reducing risks and strengthening skills for all youth within a defined community, and may focus specifically by age or grade or include enhancing cultural protective factors.

  • Selective - Focuses on the needs of youth who are at higher risk. Such efforts may include more intensive social-emotional skills training, coping skills, or de-escalation approaches for youth whose life experiences or challenges make it difficult for them to respond to universal prevention efforts.


  • Indicated - Addresses the needs of youth who are exhibiting early signs of problem behaviors. Indicated interventions include more intensive supports and activities for those who are already engaging in substance abuse or who are displaying problem behavior or are showing early signs of academic or mental health problems. Supports may include behavioral health providers, treatment providers, health care professionals, teachers, education support professionals, school resource officers, families, and community members, to support the participating youth across multiple ecological levels. 

bottom of page