Here at Beacon Mental Health, we see and hear some memorable and often heartbreaking stories. Our Crisis Team often meets with someone in their worst hour and helps them develop hope to hang on and works with them to start treatment. Our School Services Team helps young people and families overcome all kinds of challenges, including serious mental health problems, such as self-injurious behaviors. Our Liaison Team assists local law enforcement when they encounter someone on the streets struggling with a mental health challenge.

With all those stories, we are careful not to overlook one of our most dynamic, creative, and effective groups at Beacon – the Prevention Team. The Prevention Team achieves the best kind of mental health intervention – the one that happens before anything bad happens.

Our Prevention Team uses a toolbox of evidence-based approaches to prevent problems. For example, how should we reduce teen use of alcohol? Should we create a youth inspired campaign that informs their peers of the risk involved? Should we try to make sure that stores aren’t selling alcohol to under-age customers? Should we talk to parents about the ramifications of allowing their teens to have a drink or two around the house?

The answer to all those questions, and more, is a resounding “YES!”, because we know one strategy does not fix the problem. So, utilizing multiple approaches to change the entire environment is the way our Prevention Team approaches the problem. And they do so in concert with key community partners – schools, law enforcement, health departments, and social services.

It doesn’t make an exciting story to talk about a teenager saying “no” when offered a beer, or a joint, or a vape. Nobody is going to be awed by the story of a teen girl who started to feel a bit down and knew to reach out to a few trusted friends to talk things through and felt better afterward. These are the kind of everyday stories that our Prevention Team makes happen. And we could not be prouder of their work.

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