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What We Do

Our Approaches

We recognize that our youth do not have drug or mental health problems; our community has these problems.

We value youth as a resource and believe that they should be involved in the decision-making process within the coalition, our institutions, and our legislative/legal systems. We will not engage in “adultism” behaviors and we will work to change this behavior among our stakeholders and political officials where they exist.

We believe that multi-sector collaboration at the local level produces population level change when stakeholders and community members agree to share risks, resources, and rewards towards a common goal.

We will avoid the propensity to take a “pin the tail on the donkey” approach to solving substance misuse and mental health problems in Douglas County. This means focusing on issues and institutional changes beyond simple political ideologies.


Hospitals can treat disease, but communities produce health. Policemen and women can enforce the law, but communities produce justice. Schools can teach but communities produce fully prepared young people. If the community at large shirks its responsibilities, we over burden these systems/institutions and or expect unattainable results from them.

Like a magnifying glass that focuses the sunlight to a pinpoint and can start a fire, so too communities can focus their efforts and produce amazing results when they agree on a common goal and work together to achieve important health/well-being outcomes. – PhD. Paul Evensen

Decision-Making Process, Approaches and Practices

DCHYC Board, Staff and Members of the Coalition will utilize the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) and other processes that are recognized as research-based and proven effective by public health professionals. All activities and interventions will be strength-based, culturally competent and meet or exceed the National Institute on Drug Abuse Principals.

The DCHYC activities and efforts will also implement the following:

  • Implement and follow the SMART+C approach

  • Foster a community participatory approach in all coalition- and community-focused activities

  • Leverage all available services/resources in the community, from both public and private sectors

  • Promote public action and policies that increase awareness of physical and behavioral health problems

  • Utilize evidence-based programs, approaches, or practices related to substance use/abuse, prevention, reduction, intervention and treatment

  • Promote public action and policies that provide funding and support for evidence-based programs related to mental health, substance use, prevention, enforcement, intervention and treatment

  • Assist in the oversight, coordination and evaluation of coalition programs

  • Communicate Coalition efforts and programs to the DCHYC community

  • Not partner nor accept funds from the tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical industry

  • Not advance or support prevention/intervention activities and programs that are ineffective

  • Act with respect and forethought to mitigate negative effects or possible unintended consequences of its actions or inactions


The DCHYC and its members will strive to engage, advance and build the capacity of our community to leverage three types of advocacy: self-advocacy, individual advocacy and systems advocacy. Members/stakeholders are not required to engage in advocacy efforts they are uncomfortable with or go against their agency or organizational policies.

Self-advocacy refers to an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert his or her own interests, desires, needs, and rights. This means understanding your strengths and needs, identifying your personal goals, knowing your legal rights and responsibilities, and communicating these to others. Self-advocacy is speaking up for oneself!

In individual advocacy, a person or group of people concentrate their efforts on a small group of individuals. This type of advocacy occurs when someone stands up for someone else who is being underrepresented or unfairly mistreated.

Systems advocacy occurs when individuals or groups challenge or change policies, laws, or rules that impact health, wellness, and prosperity of others in their community. These efforts are often implemented at the local, state, or national level. The focus can be changing laws, policies, or procedures (written or unwritten). System advocacy can also involve individual’s efforts to change how an employer or institution behaves or delivers service to their employees, customers, or clients.

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