Revere CARES

The goal of the Revere CARES coalition is to improve the well-being of Revere’s residents by preventing substance abuse and promoting healthy eating, active living, and healthy relationships.

Overview

The Revere CARES Coalition strengthens the health of Revere by: Addressing priorities established by community members; utilizing an environmental approach; advocating for evidence-based, culturally competent strategies, programs and services; and increasing connectedness among individuals and organizations. Revere CARES is an award-winning coalition with 350 members from across the community dedicated to preventing alcohol and drug abuse among Revere youth. Coalition members represent a variety of sectors, including parents, youth, government officials, educators, health professionals, first responders and law enforcement. The Coalition oversees three major initiatives: the Alcohol, Tobacco, and other Drugs (ATOD), the Revere on the Move and the Healthy Relationships.

Substance Use Disorder Prevention

Revere CARES’ substance abuse prevention efforts engage the community in a variety of ways. These strategies can be categorized into four areas of activities: policy development and enforcement, educational opportunities, community collaboration, and access to services. Examples of these strategies include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Policy: Strengthen policies to limit access to Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) and enforce consequences. These efforts have included advocacy at licensing commission hearings, compliance checks, Sticker Shock Campaigns, and support for the rollback of bar closing hours in Revere.
  • Education: Change in social norms. In collaboration with Revere Public Schools, the Revere Police Department, and several other local groups, Revere CARES launched the first social marketing campaign known as the ‘Power of Know’ in 2003 to increase community awareness about the risk, harm and penalties associated with ATOD use. In 2010 the campaign was expanded and is now called the Power of Action. This latest campaign efforts urges parents to get the facts about substance abuse, talk to their children about not using drugs, enforce the consequences for breaking the rules and stay connected with other parents and community members who want to keep our youth alcohol and drug free.
  • Collaboration: Provide educational opportunities for parents and develop a parent network. Through the STOP Act Grant, Revere CARES has conducted parent coffee sessions to provide parents with opportunities to connect with each other and to learn about how substance use affects youth brain development.
  • Positive Youth Development: Improve conditions that relate to overall wellbeing in local youth:  Since 2000, Revere CARES has collaborated with the City of Revere and local after-school providers to obtain funding for youth programming that has now become institutionalized throughout the community. That work has since expanded into efforts to increase and improve assets in the community that build resilient, healthy, and capable youth who are less likely to have a substance use disorder. Needs in this area based on youth, parent, and community feedback include a youth center (like a YMCA or Boys and Girls Club), greater access to early childhood care, increased focus on mental health and stress management, peer-to-peer support networks, homework assistance, and opportunities to lead.

Healthy Eating/Active Living

With the support of many community partners, Revere CARES created the “Revere on the Move” campaign to celebrate Revere’s progress and continue the work of creating a healthier community.

A community assessment in 2006 found that childhood obesity was a key concern among residents. Additional data backed up that concern, showing that children are eating fewer healthy foods, getting less physical activity in school, and spending more time in front of TVs and computer screens.  In response, Revere CARES created the Food & Fitness initiative, now known as Revere on the Move, bringing together a collaboration of community residents and organizations committed to preventing childhood obesity and hunger. To meet these goals, the initiative works to:

  1. Increase access to healthy foods
  2. Increase opportunities to be physically active

Healthy Relationship Initiative

Revere CARES established the Healthy Relationship Initiative, recommended by the Healthy Adolescent Relationship Task Force, based on the results of the MGH CCHI Revere Community Health Assessment in 2012. The Initiative began as the Healthy Relationship Task Force, a partnership between the City of Revere, Revere Public Schools, and MGH CCHI/Revere CARES.  The goal of the partnership is to reduce teen pregnancy, STDs, and dating violence.  To accomplish this goal the group uses a comprehensive systems approach and is presently focusing of increasing structured out of school programming for middle and high school age youth and citywide adoption and implementation of the Youth Developmental Asset Model.

The Healthy Relationship Initiative seeks to prevent/reduce early initiation of sexual activity, sexually transmitted diseases, and teen pregnancy as well as prevent dating/domestic violence.  To address these issues, the Healthy Relationship Initiative will:

  • Focus on the development of a comprehensive out-of-school plan for middle and high school youth and the adoption of a city-wide youth asset development model
  • Address curriculum issues and gaps in additional prevention and intervention services
  • Develop a social marketing campaign. 

Throughout the process the task force will work to increase community capacity and readiness.

About this Program

2015 Outcomes

    • 46 students participated in the Power of Know club at two middle schools in Revere.
    • Revere CARES staff invited 117 graduating 8th students from the middle schools to write on a post it note how they were going to stay Above the Influence during the summer; 18 of the best answers were shared in a Community Page in the Revere Journal.
    • The Drop-In Center was open every Tuesday night to better support families of opioid users. The Drop-In Center made 29 referrals to treatment, enrolled 36 people with Narcan, had 66 navigation contacts, and conducted 6 community overdose presentations.
    • Approximately 100 pounds of medicine were collected during two Medicine Take Back Events, and sharps were collected in parks by task force members. This environmental strategy removed medications in homes and educated the community about prescription drug abuse
    • The ATOD Task Force Conducted a pledge drive during the 2014-2015 academic year at all Revere schools where parents were asked to pledge to talk to their children about not using drugs and/or alcohol - 823 parents signed the pledge drive.
    • 2015 Outcomes for Revere ATOD are found here http://www.massgeneral.org/cchi/services/treatmentprograms.aspx?id=1500&display=about

    • 2015 Outcomes for Revere on the Move are found here http://www.massgeneral.org/cchi/services/treatmentprograms.aspx?id=1503&display=about

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Sylvia Chiang

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