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Community-based interventions are interventions with multiple components that commonly combine individual and environmental change strategies across multiple settings with the goal of preventing dysfunction and to promoting well-being among population groups in a given community.
They emphasize empowering communities to enact their own solutions to pressing problems.
The lists below include a variety of different community-based interventions focused on mental health and substance use. The purpose of this list is to provide examples of interventions that could be adapted or implemented in your local community.
Community Conversations are discussions that bring together a variety of community members to identify and address community needs.
These conversations can happen in a variety of ways and forms, as shown by the examples below.
In particular, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a helpful model called “Community Conversations About Mental Health” for implementing community conversations in your own community.
This is a three-part series that walks through Community Conversations About Mental Health. The first guide gives the background of what Community Conversations are and how they can be beneficial for mental health promotion. The second guide provides possible discussion questions and formats. The third guide lays out how to organize and promote Community Conversations.
The Launching Inclusive Efforts Through Community Conversations Toolkit provides an introduction to Community Conversations, the benefits of Community Conversations, and how to create your own Community Conversation program.
This article discusses the understanding and communication of youth suicide within a public health setting. It also used a participatory action research (PAR) approach to include the Inupiat community in each stage of research.
This project conducted 13 different Community Conversations in rural areas to identify barriers to health care and form work groups to address these barriers.
This study applied the Theory of Planned Behavior to explore factors associated with coach-athlete conversations about mental health and discusses the importance of mental health training. It includes linear regression models on intention behavior from the Theory of Planned Behavior.
This study evaluated the usefulness of family-centered support conversations that are offered through community mental health care. It focuses on the Calgary Family Assessment and Intervention Models and the Illness Beliefs Model.
This article gives an overview of Community Conversations as a tool to spark change for people with disabilities and discusses the history, past research, and implementation of Community Conversations.
This study looked at utilizing Community Conversations in a faith-based setting with a variety of stakeholders to promote inclusion for people with disabilities. The article discusses how these Community Conversations were structured and their impact.
Mental Health First Aid is a training course that teaches how to assist someone in a mental health crisis, including possible warning signs, strategies, and resources.
This study evaluated a modified Mental Health First Aid framework for use with the Bhutanese refugee community and found that the modified Mental Health First Aid framework was an effective intervention to improve mental health literacy in this community.
This study evaluated the use of Youth Mental Health First Aid (Y-MHFA) for use with graduate level social work students and focuses on the Mental Health Beliefs and Literacy Scale which looks at attitudes, knowledge, motivation, confidence, behavioral intention, and behavior.
This study evaluated the usefulness of Mental Health First Aid in rural communities and discusses the community impacts of Mental Health First Aid and possible limitations.
This study developed a Mental Health First Aid program targeted at military and Veteran populations (M-MHFA) based on an expert panel and pilot study recommendations. It found that this adapted Military Mental Health First Aid was an effective intervention to increase confidence in helping behaviors, improving knowledge of resources, and decreasing stigma.
This study looked at the effectiveness of Mental Health First Aid for use with Latinx and Asian American immigrant communities and found that Mental Health First Aid was an effective tool to improve health literacy and decrease mental health stigma.
This pilot study looked at the effectiveness of Youth Mental Health First Aid (Y-MHFA) through Project AWARE. It looked at outcomes prior to taking Youth Mental Health First Aid and at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 month marks afterwards.
This study compared the effectiveness of an online Mental Health First Aid program compared to a mixed online and in-person Mental Health First Aid program. Both programs were found to be effective for various criteria, but the mixed online and in-person program had higher course satisfaction.
This study looked at the effectiveness of Mental Health First Aid for use with high school educators. Overall, the study found that Mental Health First Aid for educators was effective.
SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week, held annually during the second week of May, is a national effort to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and mental health promotion.
Multiple prevention week toolkits that include facts about National Prevention Week, event ideas, and a planning checklist. Some of the event ideas include an alcohol-free “happy hour”/potluck, pep rally, health/science fair, community rally, community walk/run/bike ride, or community gathering.
Opioid Epidemic Practical Toolkit: Helping Faith and Community Leaders Bring Hope and Healing to Our Communities
This toolkit provides resources and guides for engaging with faith and community leaders for opioid prevention activities.
The May is Mental Health Month Toolkit includes handouts and communication templates about mental health promotion.
The SAMHSA 2019 National Prevention Week Outcome Report includes many examples of successful prevention week activities in a variety of settings including schools, government organizations, and private organizations.
This paper discusses in-depth an educational program targeted at parents regarding substance use in adolescents and includes resource guides and an outline of the toolkit used.
The Month-by-Month Prevention and Promotion Call to Action and Planning Guide includes compiled resources, key dates, and activity ideas for substance use and mental health promotion activities.
Results From One of the Nation’s Largest Drug Disposal Programs
North Carolina’s Operation Medicine Drop report details a medication drop program that launched during poison prevention week. The program was created to decrease unintentional substance-related deaths from prescription medication.