Community Wellness Coalition

The Pittsfield Wellness Coalition held its first meeting on November 12, with twenty-three community members and school district educators in attendance.  The coalition met as a follow-up to the Chris Herren school and community presentations in September on the topic of addiction.

During the meeting, guest Annika Stanley-Smith, substance misuse prevention coordinator with the Capital Area Public Health Network, shared data from the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey anonymously completed by PMHS grades 9-12 students in spring 2013.

As a result of the data review, our Pittsfield Coalition identified nine “major concerns” centering on a range of risk taking behaviors of Pittsfield’s young people.  The Coalition then identified the top three priorities for its attention and action in promoting youth wellness in Pittsfield:  (1) heroin, methamphetamine, and opiate misuse; (2) alcohol misuse, and (3) mental health.

The Coalition plans to focus first on its top priority and will be reviewing a range of proven strategies for supporting youth wellness.  Ms. Stanley-Smith will continue to support of the work of the Coalition in this important work.

The Wellness Coalition will next meet from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 30, in the PMHS media center.  The meeting agenda will include completion of the Coalition’s charter and consideration of evidence-based strategies to prevent addiction.  All Pittsfield residents are invited to participate.