Medfield Cares About Prevention
Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP) is a coalition that incorporates a collaborative community and evidence-based approach to help promote mental health and prevent alcohol, marijuana, and other drug use among local youth. All Medfield residents are invited to join MCAP, and the coalition has a broad representation of parents, youth, businesses, schools, healthcare professionals, private organizations, and public agencies.
Many factors influence a person’s chance of developing a mental and/or substance use disorder. Effective prevention focuses on reducing those risk factors and strengthening protective factors that are most closely related to the problem being addressed. *Excerpt from Substance Use and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) publication.
Learn more about risk and protective factors here.
The Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP) coalition was formed in 2004 by a group of Medfield community members who saw a need for local youth-oriented substance use prevention programming. Early accomplishments included the creation of substance use prevention handouts, which contained information on how to host safe, substance-free parties and strategies for parents to communicate with each other about substance-related concerns.
In 2007, MCAP received the “Youth Substance Abuse Initiative” award from the local MetroWest Health Foundation to expand the scope of the coalition. This funding enabled the coalition to hire a coordinator and implement a Parent Education program reaching over 400 parents, as well as to conduct a social norms marketing campaign with youth.
In 2011, 2013, and 2014, MCAP applied for the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grant– a federal program to support local efforts that prevent and reduce substance use among youth. Although MCAP was not awarded this funding, the coalition continued to create outreach materials, developed a website, and established a presence on social media to connect with the community at large.
In 2018, MCAP was awarded a grant from the Medfield Foundation Legacy Fund, which enabled them to hire a consultant to help with the DFC grant application. In addition to this success, the coalition began to build significant momentum and gained multiple new members that included both adults and youth.
In 2019, MCAP was officially awarded the DFC grant, which provides the coalition with $125,000 per year to strengthen collaboration among local partners and create an infrastructure that reduces youth substance use. Since the inception of the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, DFC grantees have affected a significant decline in youth substance use rates in communities across the country. The DFC grant has allowed for MCAP to create a cohesive strategy to reduce youth substance use and provided the needed resources to implement evidence-based strategies for change.
The coalition is guaranteed funding through the end of September 2024 with the opportunity to apply for an additional five years of funding at that time. Sustainable change requires persistent, comprehensive strategies implemented by a well-trained and well-organized community coalition. It takes the entire community to keep our youth safe, and that’s why we are so grateful for your support!