RESOURCES

OSSINING CARES

PREVENTING PROBLEMS BEFORE THEY DEVELOP

OCTC follows the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), which promotes science-based approaches to substance use prevention. These methods are proven to be successful in promoting healthy behaviors and preventing substance use and have been adopted in communities like ours across the country. OCTC helps communities prevent problems before they develop.

The SPF was developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as a guide for planning and adapting to community needs. It is designed to be evidence-based, data-driven, culturally competent, flexible, and sustainable. OCTC uses it to team up with families and community partners to stay informed and build on our successes.

OCTC also utilizes Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)’s coalition model to build strong cooperative ties in meeting community needs. This model is used throughout the country and the world by over 5,000 coalitions. Building a wide range of partnerships is key to solving problems before they begin and helping new generations thrive.

FAMILY ENGAGEMENT

OCTC provides education, support and resources to Ossining’s parents, teens, and other community members involved with young people to promote positive youth development and prevent substance use. Want to learn more about how adults can prevent substance use among young people or how to start “the conversation”?

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PROGRAMMING FOR YOUTH AND FAMILIES

School-based Health Centers

School-based Health Centers

Ossining School District’s collaboration with Open Door Family Medical Center has established SBHCs at both the middle and high schools. Integrated into the school environment, our SBHC programs focus on wellness, physical and mental health, and prevention and are uniquely situated to support students as they face decisions about using, or not using, harmful substances, in addition to guiding their management of chronic and acute illness.

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Ossining’s Youth Bureau

Ossining’s Youth Bureau

In 2020, the Town of Ossining approved the establishment of Ossining’s Youth Bureau. The Bureau is dedicated to a range of youth development programs and activities aimed at preparing young people for academic and personal success. The Bureau hosts afterschool programs, employment, leadership, and mentoring opportunities and engages in substance use prevention and community building activities.

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Ossining’s First Annual Summer Leadership Program

Ossining’s First Annual Summer Leadership Program

As part of its first year, the Youth Bureau kicked off its first-ever Leadership Program. Young leaders share their ideas around community, social unity and equity, mental health issues, and substance use prevention as part of the SLP. It is a chance to grow personally by developing leadership and job readiness skills, and also to create lasting linkages to the Ossining community at large.

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Youth to Youth

Youth to Youth

Ossining is proud to participate in Youth to Youth.  Y2Y is an international, youth-driven, adult-guided organization that engages young people in meaningful activities to develop ideas to create positive change in their communities and in their lives. It sets the standards for youth development and substance use prevention across the US and around the World. Ossining teens have participated in Youth to Youth since 2012.

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Drug Disposal

Drug Disposal

Proper disposal of unwanted medicines prevents them from being diverted, misused, or abused, and keeps these substances from entering the water supply. The Ossining Police Department maintains a drop box for unneeded medications and hosts “Drug Take-Back” events for residents to dispose of them safely.

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Recreation and Creative Programs

Recreation and Creative Programs

Reading, art, science, dance, games, and sports all provide opportunities for young people to learn skills, build character and have fun. Explore the creative and recreational programs Coalition partners offer to young people and their families.

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TRAINING AND EDUCATION

OCTC is committed to bringing the most current evidence-based information and approaches to the community of Ossining. We work with stakeholders to coordinate trainings, assemblies and education to teens and students, teachers and community leaders, and parents and families.

STUDENT ASSESSMENTS

Effective training and education must be responsive to needs found in the community. The Coalition surveys students about their substance use, as well as risk and protective factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of use, so that we know where to focus efforts and resources. The surveys are anonymous and are conducted on a regular basis, enabling us to look at trends over time.

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MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID

Mental Health First Aid is an international training program proven to be effective in helping people increase their knowledge of signs and symptoms of mental illness and addictions. The training also helps reduce negative attitudes and perceptions of people with mental illness. Mental health first aid training is provided in English and Spanish.

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HOME RUN AGAINST DRUGS

Offers a curriculum aimed at developing the social and emotional skills needed for substance use prevention and mental health promotion. HRAD hosts workshops for children that address resilience, especially for children with adverse childhood experiences.

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CURRICULUM SUPPORT AND EXPANSION PROGRAMS

OCTC sponsors assembly speakers and workshops at the middle and high schools on substance-abuse prevention, making healthy choices, Internet safety, and leadership development. In addition, high school health classes emphasize peer-to-peer instruction on the dangers of prescription drug abuse. Each spring, high school students attending prom are required to complete AlcoholEDU, an online course educating teens about the negative consequences of underage drinking.

AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS

Increasing awareness about the consequences of drug and alcohol use and other risky behaviors, as well as the benefits of positive youth development is an important component of the Coalition’s work. Media and messaging campaigns both in schools and across the community are intended to provide information and to establish positive social norms for Ossining’s young people and their families

RESPONSIBLE ALCOHOL & BEVERAGE SERVICE

Since 2008, the Ossining Police Department has been promoting responsible alcohol and beverage service in Ossining. The Department educates bars, stores and other establishments that sell alcohol on NYS laws, the need to verify IDs, and also conducts compliance checks.

LOCAL, REGIONAL, AND NATIONAL CONNECTIONS

Keeping up to date with the latest prevention science as well as sharing information about successes and challenges is a big part of OCTC’s work. In addition to sharing information across Ossining’s stakeholders, we stay connected to County and regional efforts, and to national organizations that support communities like ours. We are always willing to learn from the experiences of other communities, as well as share the knowledge we have acquired through our work.

OCTC works closely with Westchester County on multiple fronts, from establishing Ossining’s Youth Bureau to spearheading capacity-building to deliver mental health first aid training across the area. Similarly, our OCTC Coalition is one of 30 in Westchester and we network regularly with the others to coordinate county-wide prevention efforts, share strategies and trainings, and otherwise collaborate to be as effective as possible. The Coalitions also work together to educate local and state legislators and officials in matters relating to legalizing and regulating drugs and alcohol and their effects of polices on young people and communities.

OCTC also stays connected to national players. We are a member of Community Anti-drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), which is dedicated to building drug-free communities nationwide. This membership keeps us apprised of the latest and greatest evidence and trends in terms of policy, training, and outcomes. By attending national CADCA leadership conferences we are also able to network and build relationships with community coalitions across the country. Learn more about CADCA here.

We also work closely with an array of local and national funders who have enabled the initiation, building up and ongoing support of the Coalition and its activities. Our funding partners include:

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