Windham PRIDE (Partnership to Reduce the Influence of Drugs for Everyone) is our community’s substance use prevention coalition. We embrace the skills and knowledge of our sector members and community leaders to address identified needs and create sustainable change.
Our work focuses on underage drinking, tobacco/vaping, marijuana and prescription drug misuse prevention. We build upon the many assets that our youth and community members possess to foster the growth, resiliency, strengths and wellness of individuals and the community.
Activities and strategies are determined by a comprehensive process, using the Seven Strategies for Community Level Change and The Strategic Prevention Framework.
The Windham Substance Abuse Taskforce, was formed in 2003 in response to the high level of heroin use in our community. Concerned citizens, businesses, educators, community leaders, and county officials worked to find solutions to community members’ health and safety problems that heroin creates. The Windham community received a Weed and Seed federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice in 2005 and collaborations with the Willimantic Police Department, community agencies, schools and citizens were enhanced. Local data demonstrated a reduction in the amount of heroin use in our community by the conclusion of the grant.
Subsequently, law enforcement and community partners wanted to address issues of alcohol and drug use among youth in Windham. Outreach and education was already taking place through Community Prevention and Addiction Services (CPAS), Northeast Communities Against Substance Abuse (NECASA) and Windham Youth Services Bureau (WYSB). Adding another source of funding and support, the federal Drug Free Communities Grant was awarded to the Town of Windham in 2008. This enhanced the mission that was started through the Weed and Seed grant and our partnerships with other entities.
In 2015, the “Windham Substance Abuse Task Force” was renamed the Windham PRIDE Coalition (P.R.I.D.E.) to align its’ brand with the Putnam and Griswold PRIDE Coalitions. All three Coalitions work with missions to support healthy communities through prevention efforts.
To Create Community Level Change in Youth Substance Use by implementing evidence based, environmental prevention strategies
- Raise community awareness of alcohol, opioid, and other drug issues
- Increase community involvement in prevention activities
- Build skills in youth and adult community leaders
- Prevent underage drinking and substance use among our youth
Community coalitions connect multiple sectors of the community, including parents, youth, businesses, media, law enforcement, schools, faith organizations, health providers, social service agencies, and the government. By acting in concert through the coalition, all of the partners gain a more complete understanding of the community’s problems. Together, the partners organize and develop plans and programs to coordinate their anti-drug efforts. The result is a comprehensive, community-wide approach to substance use and its related problems.
Chamber of Commerce, Windham Region
Eastern Connecticut State University: Center for Community Engagement
WECS Radio 90.1 FM Radio station Hall Communications: WILI 98.3FM, 95.3FM, and 1400AM
ICP Healing Community Church
Kingdom Destiny Outreach International Church
NAFI Child, Youth, Family Support Center
North Central District Health Department
Parents, Residents, and Youth
Perception Programs, Inc.
SERAC – Supporting and Engaging Resources for Action and Change
Town of Windham
Willimantic Police Department
Windham Public Schools
Windham Technical High School
Windham Regional Community Council
Windham School Based Health Centers
Windham Youth Services Bureau
PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES
- Alcohol Compliance Check Operations
- Prescription Medication Collection Events
- Town Hall Meetings and Forums
- Substance Use Data Collection
- School Surveys, Adult Surveys, Environmental Scans, Focus Groups Community Assessment
- data analysis, resource and risk factor analysis
- Peer Refusal Skills workshops
- Radio advertising/interviews on Wili AM and FM and WECS Radio 90.1 stations
- Featured interviews on CTV192- Northeastern CT Community Television
- Partnership with the Windham Parent-Community University
- Prevention education/outreach in the Windham schools and at community sites, including youth-led prevention
- Summer Youth Leadership Academy facilitated by the Willimantic Police Department and co-sponsored by Windham PRIDE
- Social Media and Marketing campaigns to prevent youth substance use, by increasing awareness of substance use trends and positive behaviors
- Sustainability and Capacity Building
- Community Outreach- Events, Presentations, Workshops