Gone are the days of scare tactics in classroom presentations. Redefining Prevention means more than just ending substance abuse among young people. It means recognizing the complex needs of youth and families, and building flexible, integrated systems of support that respond to those needs holistically. It means making physical, mental, and behavioral health care truly accessible by building partnerships between providers and schools, neighborhoods, and community groups. It means building ACEs science and trauma-informed practices into professional development for all who work with youth. It means abandoning zero-tolerance discipline policies and dismantling the systemic barriers that feed the school-to-prison pipeline in favor of a restorative justice framework for resolution and community building. It means centering the needs of the most vulnerable members of our communities in order to build true equity.
None of us can do this alone. The work of redefining prevention will take unifying all of the different resources and services that touch the lives of our youth, from education to healthcare to food to shelter to justice and everywhere in between. The work is already being done in all of these sectors, and with the Healthy Futures conference, we hope to bring us all together to learn from each other and coordinate our efforts.
In this spirit, rather than dividing our conference into tracks based on field, we are instead developing content based on four focus areas, and prioritizing youth voice:
- Accessing Educational Equity
- Addiction in Context
- Building Community Resiliency
- Health & Wellness
We hope you will join us!