Nearly fifty leaders of prevention efforts from Kansas communities met in mid-January for a kick-off event to help connect local and statewide efforts. Taking the lead role in hosting the statewide coalition focused on behavioral health promotion and the prevention of substance abuse, suicide, and problem gambling, Wichita State's Community Engagement Institute hosted the inaugural meeting of PreventionWorKS at WSU Oldtown. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) made all this possible with their establishment of the Kansas Prevention Collaborative and coordination of partner agencies.

"The inaugural meeting of the PreventionWorKS coalition meeting was such an awe-inspiring event; the energy that was in the room was powerful and a great reminder of why I am committed to and passionate about prevention work," said Sarah Fisher, director of Prevention and Promotion Services, KDADS. "Connecting folks from all corners of the state and from different behavioral health concerns (substance use prevention, suicide prevention, and problem gambling education) is a simple idea in theory, but I believe the reward and benefit of this opportunity to connect, share and learn is just the tipping point for what opportunities and potential will develop as the work progresses."

The Steering Committee of PreventionWorKS is composed of members of community coalitions representing a balance of community size, geography, and behavioral health promotion and prevention focus areas. This group will provide guidance to the full coalition, and will also benefit from expertise and influence offered by members of PreventionWorKS.

  • Supportive mentoring and collaboration
  • The Coalition will offer a place for a shared voice and access to key change agents
  • The synergistic opportunities of statewide projects, pooling of resources, unifying voice and collaborative impact that will leverage other opportunities
  • Opportunities with strength in numbers, elevating successes, and sharing statewide and local data
  • Integration of approaches of behavioral health promotion and prevention across the continuum of care

PreventionWorKS is here for you and your communities. Click Subscribe to join the mailing list for updates on the coalition and its efforts, and share your ideas and community needs with others. For more information about the coalition, the Kansas Prevention Collaborative and Prevention Initiatives at WSU's Community Engagement Institute, contact a member of the prevention team, or 316-978-3565.

April 2016