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Needs Assessment & Surveys

Needs Assessment & Priority Reports

SERAC works with partners to gather information and conduct the following assessment activities in order to identify local conditions that contribute to behavioral health:

  • Community Mapping
  • Resource Assessment
  • Facilitated Discussions
  • Key Informant Interviews
  • Observational Data Collection
  • Environmental Scans
  • Town Hall/Community Meetings

The ongoing needs assessments inform the annual priority report in partnership with CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.


Since 2006, SERAC has been engaged in formal data collection through the administration of surveys to both youth and adults.

Youth Surveys:

SERAC works in collaboration with local coalitions and schools to survey school-aged youth. Since 2006, we have complied data from over 50,000 youth in grades 7–12 representing more than 30 school districts throughout Connecticut. The youth survey includes questions about:

  1. attitudes, perceptions and behaviors toward substance use
  2. attitudes and behaviors toward problem gambling
  3. mental health indicators
  4. risk and protective factors.

SERAC prepares a regional summary of current data and trends on a biennial basis.

SERAC’s survey templates are based on the Connecticut Governor’s Prevention Initiative for Youth (GPIY) Survey which was administered by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and the University of Connecticut (UConn) Health Center in 2000. Our survey templates include questions to address the required core measures for United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) Drug Free Communities (DFC) and Sober Truth on Preventing Under-Age Drinking STOP) grantees. Questions can be added to any survey to customize it to meet the specific needs of a particular community.

Community Surveys:

SERAC also conducts community surveys to identify adult practices with regard to substance use and gambling as well as attitudes about youth substance use and gambling. The questions on the community survey have been designed to mirror the questions on the youth surveys.

Regional Reports:

SERAC complies biennial reports summarizing youth and community survey results and uses these data to track trends and to inform prevention planning at the local and regional levels.

For more information on survey services and data please email us at