Mayor’s Coalition on Behavioral Health (MCBH)
Formerly the Mayor’s Substance Abuse Prevention Council
The Mission of the Mayor’s Coalition on Behavioral Health (MCBH) is to provide leadership, raise awareness and develop policy for the Mayor relating to health, wellness, and safety, including drug, alcohol, and tobacco prevention, across the lifespan.
The mission of the Coalition states:
- Promoting the health and wellness of individuals and communities in the Providence area;
- Building awareness about behavioral health concerns, focusing on the prevention of substance misuse and mental health challenges;
- Using evidence-based programs, as well as providing tools, resources, and education for community prevention;
- Supporting comprehensive environmental strategies to address systemic challenges.
About the Mayor’s Coalition on Behavioral Health
The Mayor’s Substance Abuse Prevention Council (MSAPC) was authorized to be the lead drug and alcohol prevention voice and policy making body for the City of Providence, with the mission of protecting youth and preventing harmful alcohol and drug use by: implementing evidence-based programs; building awareness; providing effective education; supporting comprehensive environmental strategies; and promoting the health and wellness of individuals and communities. After decades of successfully convening partners from the six core sectors of business, education, safety, medical/health, government, and family/community supports, the MSAPC re-assessed and updated its priorities to address the changing landscape and understanding of substance use disorder and mental/behavioral health, including prioritization of an anti-stigma lens on its work.
Following a planning process and consensus vote that engaged all council members, the Mayor’s Substance Abuse Prevention Council’s name was changed to the Mayor’s Coalition on Behavioral Health through an Executive Order by Mayor Jorge Elorza in September 2020. Per the Executive Order, the Mayor’s Coalition on Behavioral Health (MCBH) has assumed all responsibilities formerly within the purview of the MSAPC, focusing its efforts on practices and policies relating to preventing, assessing, and addressing the City’s needs pertaining to behavioral health.
Current member agencies and regular participants in MCBH monthly convenings include: CODAC; Charter Care; Discovery House; Family Task Force; Family Services of Rhode Island; Hospital Association of Rhode Island; Miriam Hospital; Pawtucket Housing Authority; Project Weber/RENEW; Providence Community Library; Providence Fire/EMS; Providence Housing Authority; Providence Public Schools; Rhode Island Department of Health Drug Overdose Prevention Program; RICARES; and Rhode Island Student Assistance Services. Private individuals and private practice health care providers are also regular participants.
MCBH successes include increasing and diversifying membership by engaging partners who have not been traditionally involved in prevention work, such as the Providence Community Library, and continuing to strengthen Coalition relationships with local police, EMS/fire, and other agencies with shared concerns. Other successes include the expansion and modification of programming to meet the needs of hard-to-reach populations, such as engaging with the local elderly community to increase awareness and prevention skills around alcohol, tobacco and prescription medications; building strong collaborations with local faith leaders to engage their constituencies in prevention activities; bringing youth participants into the Coalition through Partnerships for Success activities; and interpreting and delivering the Family Matters curriculum to Providence’s Arabic- and Swahili-speaking communities.
United Youth Subcommittee of the Mayor’s Coalition on Behavioral Health
The United Youth Subcommittee allows and encourages young people in the community to engage in and advocate for steps towards a healthier Providence. The youth will learn about prevention policy and best practices, and add their voices to policy and program decisions. By implementing positive change strategies, they will prevent and reduce youth substance use of alcohol and tobacco/nicotine. We hope that involving youth community members in this subcommittee will allow the MCBH’s message to be spread throughout the community, as well as give the MCBH insight into how to better make an impact on the youth community.
Are you under age of 21? Join us the third Saturday of every month from 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM!
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