Long-lasting Youth Drug and Alcohol Prevention
The City's Youth and Family Services Department (MIYFS) offers a broad range of services for all ages, including mental health counselors in each of the Island's public schools, and drug and alcohol prevention and intervention experts at the middle and high schools.
|Click to read or listen to the KNKX interview
For about a dozen years, MIYFS has been using the "
Communities That Care
" model as part of its Healthy Youth Initiative, a cross-community effort focused on preventing the harm caused by youth drug and alcohol use in our community.
A recent study published by researchers at the University of Washington tracked thousands of students from fifth grade into their early twenties and found that the Communities That Care model has lasting effects.
Derek Franklin, MIYFS Administrative Manager, oversees the City's program and was
on local NPR Station KNKX about the successes seen on Mercer Island. One especially powerful tool has been social norms marketing: letting students know that far fewer are using drugs or drinking alcohol than they think.