Regional Behavioral Health Action Organization (RBHAO)

CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Region 3

One of SERAC’s key roles as the RBHAO in region 3 is to maximize resources and improve integration related to mental health and substance use program planning, training, advocacy and resource development.

Some key functions through this initiative include:

  • Assessing the behavioral health needs of children, adolescents and adults across the regions.
  • Developing Regional Strategic Plans to include priority recommendations for prevention, treatment and recovery services.
  • Administering the Local Prevention Council (LPC) grants to municipalities to stimulate the development and implementation of prevention activities.
  • Building the capacity of local communities to understand and address problem gambling.
  • Raising awareness and providing advocacy to the general public related to mental health promotion and substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery.
  • Leveraging funds to support prevention, treatment and recovery activities across each region.
  • Maintaining the statutory requirements for meetings and membership for the organization.
  • Serving on local, regional and statewide advisory and planning bodies.
  • Providing naloxone (Narcan) training and kit distribution to communities.

Partnerships for Success- Strategic Prevention Framework

In October 2019, SERAC was awarded a five year PFS-SPF grant from SAMHSA to increase the capacity of 21 towns in the Quiet Corner of CT to address youth substance abuse.  The geographic are under this initiative include the following towns: Ashford, Brooklyn, Canterbury, Chaplin, Columbia, Coventry, Eastford, Hampton, Killingly, Lebanon, Mansfield, Plainfield, Pomfret, Putnam, Scotland, Sterling, Thompson, Union, Willington, Windham, and Woodstock. In the five year period, SERAC hopes to accomplish the following goals: 

  • Strengthen the regional infrastructure to implement the steps of the Strategic Prevention Framework 
  • Raise the current readiness score for the region to address youth substance use 
  • Increase data collection efforts across the 21 towns
  • Reduce the rate of binge drinking among youth by 25% in 2024
  • Reduce the rate of nicotine use (including electronic delivery systems) by 25% in 2024
  • Reduce the rate of marijuana use by 25% in 2024 

Mental Health Awareness Training Grant (MHAT)

In 2018, SERAC received the MHAT grant to expand training to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental disorders, particularly serious mental illness to help improve early intervention. The grant also works to enhance linkages for referral to appropriate services and educate individuals about resources that are available in the community for individuals with a mental health disorder.

Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act (STOP Act) Grant

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)

SERAC received their second STOP grant in 2016 to prevent and reduce alcohol use among youth and young adults ages 12-20 in communities across southeastern CT. The activities in the project address community norms regarding alcohol use by youth, reduce opportunities for underage drinking by limiting youth access to alcohol, supporting underage drinking enforcement efforts, addressing penalties for underage use, and/or reducing the prevalence of negative consequences associated with underage drinking (e.g., motor vehicle crashes, sexual assaults).

Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut Foundation

In March 2019, SERAC was awarded $1500 to support 13th Annual Youth Forum in Spring 2020. The purpose of the Youth Forum is to unite middle school youth from around the area and to help them be more successful in making healthy decisions. The Youth Forum is open to all middle school youth from SERAC’s region of Eastern Connecticut. Each year 75 to 100 middle school youth from throughout the region have attended the Youth Forum each year. Each year the program includes interactive, large group presentations focused on substance abuse prevention, diversity, stress management and resiliency.

EVERFI Prescription Drug Safety

In October 2018, SERAC was awarded a grant to implement the EVERFI Prescription Drug Safety Curriculum in local high schools to raise awareness about the risk factors and warning signs of prescription drug misuse and addiction. Local mini grants were provided to communities and schools to implement the programs and host community forums.  

Prescription Drug Safety is an innovative digital course that arms students with the knowledge and skills to make healthy, informed decisions when it comes to prescription medications using an evidence-based, population-level approach to prevention. Through interactive scenarios and self-guided activities, students learn about a range of topics, including the science of addiction, how to properly use and dispose of prescription drugs, and how to intervene when faced with a situation involving drug misuse.

To request a demo of the program for your classroom or youth program CLICK HERE. 

Former Drug Free Communities Support Program (DFC)

The Executive Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)

In 2006, SERAC received the DFC grant to support regional coalition efforts in southeastern CT.

The goals of the grant are to:

  1. Establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, public and private non-profit agencies, as well as federal, state, local, and tribal governments to support the efforts of community coalitions working to prevent and reduce substance abuse among youth.
  2. Reduce substance abuse among youth and, over time, reduce substance abuse among adults by addressing the factors in a community that increase the risk of substance abuse and promoting the factors that minimize the risk of substance abuse.

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