HAMHDS Prevention Services provides an array of universal and selective programs that promote behaviors and lifestyles that support healthy youth development and community wellness. Programming addresses community needs identified by stakeholders as risk and protective factors. Risk factors are personal characteristics or community features that increase the danger of substance use, mental health concerns or other at-risk behaviors such as teen pregnancy, delinquency, and violence. Protective factors (often referred to as assets), increase healthy behaviors and lifestyles which ultimately reduce the risk of problem behaviors. By addressing risks and building upon the strengths of our youth, families, schools and communities, the need for more costly treatment services is prevented. Youth are referred to Prevention Services by parents, schools, and community agencies.
Prevention Services Provide:
- Community-based Programming (CONNECT)
- Evidenced-based Curricula
- Speakers Bureau
- Technical Assistance
- Youth Leadership Development
- Environmental Approach
The CONNECT program serves youth ages 6-17 in low-income housing communities in Henrico County that have been identified as having high number of risk factors. Youth qualify for the program as a resident of the selected housing community. The CONNECT after-school program occurs September through mid – June for approximately three hours after school. During the summer months, the program occurs five days a week for approximately four hours a day. The CONNECT staff operate each program independently and schedules may vary according to community needs. The program offers academic support and enrichment activities common to all the CONNECT sites. The CONNECT programs have an approximate ratio of 1staff to 10 youth.
CONNECT Program components include:
- Homework assistance
- Life skills training
- Substance use refusal skills
- Conflict resolution and problem solving
- Social and emotional learning
- Cultural and recreational opportunities
- Career development and employment opportunities
- Youth Leadership Development
- Evidence-based Program and Strategies
Evidence-based programs focus on school on school-age youth to promote healthy development and lifestyles. Objectives include addressing the developmental needs of youth, promoting life skills, and building resilience against substance use and other at-risk behaviors. The research-based curriculums (i.e., Al’s Pals, Life Skills Training, and Safe Dates) help youth build skills to increase self-efficacy, resist negative peer pressure, avoid ATOD use, prevent violence, achieve academically, and become good citizens. Evidence-based environmental approaches are also used to reach the broader community.
Teen Job Preparatory Program
The Teen Job Preparatory Program (TJPP) is a program coordinated by prevention staff designed for youth ages 14 and 15 that develops positive vocational attitudes, skills, and behaviors. Youth participate in an interactive instructional phase of pre-employment training and basic skills development that also entails service learning, attendance, and academic expectations. Upon successful completion of the instructional phase, youth are provided a paid summer employment experience.
Youth Leadership Development
The Youth Leadership Program is coordinated by Prevention staff and is composed of Henrico County middle and high school youth. The youth learn Prevention strategies, develop leadership skills, and complete service-learning activities. Youth Ambassadors work with Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition and play an active role in Prevention including the planning and implementation of prevention activities.
Opportunities are available to all Henrico, Charles City and New Kent County schools, community organizations and citizens for training in:
- Effective Prevention Strategies
- Choosing/Implementing a Prevention Program
- Bullying/Relationship & Violence Prevention
- Conflict Resolution
- Evidence-based curriculums
- Technical Assistance
Prevention Specialists are available to provide technical assistance to organizations and groups in Henrico, Charles City, and New Kent counties working to enhance the effectiveness of their prevention efforts and programming.
Prevention Specialists are available to residents, schools and community organizations in Henrico, Charles City and New Kent counties to speak on healthy youth development, substance use prevention, suicide prevention and mental wellness. Information is also provided about community resources.
Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an 8-hour training offered to Henrico, Charles City and New Kent Counties. The evidence-based course teaches how to help a person (youth or adult) developing a mental health problem or crisis. Participants learn the signs and symptoms of a mental health problem or illness, a 5-step action plan to offer assistance, and where to find appropriate local resources. The delivery if MHFA courses to the community is one component of Prevention strategies to promote suicide prevention.
Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE’s)
ACE’s training provides an understanding of the biological and social connection that exists between what is experienced during childhood and the impact that it has on one’s mental, emotional, and physical health in adulthood. Individuals will learn ways to care for themselves, set a path to healing, and gain strategies to prevent ACES for their children and other youth within the community.
REVIVE! is Virginia’s opioid overdose and naloxone education program and is part of the Commonwealth’s response to the epidemic of opioid drug use and related deaths in Virginia. REVIVE! trains individuals to be prepared for, recognize, and respond to an opioid overdose emergency with the administration of Naloxone. This guide has been designed to be distributed by pharmacists upon dispensing naloxone to individuals.
Lock & Talk
Lock and Talk Virginia was developed in May 2016 as a Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) Region 1 suicide prevention initiative. Led by the Prevention Teams of Region 1 Community Services Boards, the initiative has expanded to 26 Community Services Boards across the Commonwealth. Henrico CSB Prevention team provides educational resources, lock boxes, lock pouches and medication disposal kits to the community to prevent suicide and overdose.
Contact Prevention Services
Henrico County – (804) 727-8053
Charles City & New Kent – (804) 727-8053