Our local coalition, Change Collaborative of Manchester, and youth campaign, FACTS, are excited to share the work that has been done in the Town of Manchester over the past five years. In 2015, the Manchester Youth Service Bureau Division was awarded, The Partnership for Success Grant from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. In the first year the Change Collaborative of Manchester conducted a thorough review of available data both quantitative and qualitative which established that alcohol was the drug of choice among Manchester youth. Since then, marijuana has been reported as the highest substance used among the high school students.

After developing a strong relationship with Manchester High School and the Board of Education, we decided to implement a youth led social media campaign that prioritizes our focus on substances and prevention. This campaign raises awareness within the community, stemming from the youth’s perspective at the high school. The youth collectively decided on the name and slogan for our peer-to-peer campaign—Fighting Against Common Teen Substances, also known as, FACTS.

Leading up to the launch of FACTS, the youth came up with creative ideas for slogan teasers to spread throughout the Town of Manchester to create a buzz. The youth were successful at gaining attention from the Town of Manchester and were also featured on WFSB Channel 3 News.

National Prevention Week_Monday May 11, Preventing Prescription Drug and Opioid Misuse
“In the work of prevention, I have found that in order for youth to feel comfortable discussing topics such as underage drinking and substance abuse, they must feel safe and understood by a trusting adult. I believe the most essential aspects of a successful relationship with youth begin with trust and having a safe space to feel comfortable. Having over ten years of experience, I continuously aspire to build these healthy relationships with the youth and their families in Manchester, CT.”
Sheridan Douglass
, Prevention Project Coordinator
“I have a strong passion in the work of prevention, particularly when it comes to youth and substance use. I hope this energy dives deep within the lives of youth as they learn the importance of health and happiness."
Kelsey Clark
Prevention Coordinator
Stay up to date with the Change Collaborative

Our coalition and FACTS campaign have continued to expand and involve in our community and youth through our prevention efforts. Here are some events we have done: Red Ribbon Week, Prom Promise, Drug Take Back Day, National Prevention Week, and Annual events like, Dangers of Underage Drinking and Distractive Driving and Community Health Fairs in partnerships with Manchester Public Schools and Community Health Resources. 

Looking back on the years of accomplishments through the Change Collaborative of Manchester, there is so much to be proud of. However, these last few months have been exceptional. Although current times have us all living in unprecedented times, the strength and determination of our youth and CCM members have been ever more enduring and impactful.

National Prevention Week_Tuesday May 12, Preventing Underage Drinking and Alcohol Misuse

In February of 2020, we had the privilege to include our FACTS youth members in the CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) and SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) conference located in National Harbor, Maryland alongside 3,250 other individuals. This experience helped our youth and members of CCM gain insight and awareness in creating a safe, healthy, and drug-free community.

Prevention Project Recap

A prevention timeline video that highlights the achievements of the Manchester Change Collaborative throughout the years. Please take a moment to review our accomplishments and see all the work that is being done in our community.  Our coalition and youth campaign appreciate all the support from the Town of Manchester and its residents—all which led us here!

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“Substance use and misuse are both prevalent in our community. At the Manchester Youth Service Bureau (MYSB), our primary focus is on our youth. While not all of our youth are engaging in substance abuse, we are aware that some do misuse based on current data. I would have to say, the best part of my job is providing our youth the tools and support they need to lead a campaign and empower their peers.”
Deedra Willingham
Youth Peer Advocate
National Prevention Week_Wednesday May 13, Preventing illicut Drug Use and Youth Marijuanan Use
Youth "Facts" Campaign Photo in front of National Legislative Building at the DC Conference
National Prevention Week_Thursday May 14, Preventing Youth Tabacco Use
National Prevention Week_Friday May 15, Mental Health Awareness

Although the COVID-19 pandemic changed direction for our prevention efforts and the 2020 National Prevention Week, we have quickly adjusted and have scheduled weekly virtual meetings with the youth. These meetings discuss ways to continue promoting influential content for youth and parents, helping to prevent substance use within our community. In honor of National Prevention Week, the town of Manchester with collaborative efforts with the town of Vernon will have a digital billboard located on I-84 East. This billboard will be a reminder to parents to have a “Real Talk about the FACTS” with their youth.

Just recently, we created a prevention timeline video that highlights our achievements throughout the years. Please take a moment to review our accomplishments and see all the work that is being done in our community. Our coalition and youth campaign appreciate all the support from the Town and its residents—all which led us here!

change collaborative of manchester logo

MVPP COVID Community Check-in Survey

The Manchester Vernon Prevention Partnership (MVPP) is a collaboration between the Vernon ROCKS Coalition and the Change Collaborative of Manchester that aims to expand substance abuse prevention efforts for young people in the towns of Vernon and Manchester. The MVPP is asking that you take a 5-minute survey to share your thoughts and experiences related to how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting your individual and family well-being.

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"This has been a tremendously rewarding year. I have been active in the Change Collaborative of Manchester (CCM), (our local prevention council) for 5 years and I have worked with MHS students for 7years. It has been my dream for our youth to have a genuine role in substance prevention in Manchester. Our new MHS FACTS club (Fighting Against Common Teen Substances) joined forces with CCM to address underage drinking in Manchester. We were able to bring 6 students to the national CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.) Conference for 5 days in February. Our youth emerged from this experience with confidence, dedication and drive. They obtained leadership skills and became the force behind our Peer to Peer campaigns. Even during COVID-19 this amazing group of teens remains focused on our goals. Members are looking toward the future to engage new members and make authentic changes in Manchester."
Pam Phillips
Substance Use Specialist and FACTS Club Advisor Manchester Highh School

Any Manchester High School students are eligible to join for more information please contact

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