The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) “Big 5 by 2025” – Interested in Learning More?
The Prevention and Youth Branch, within the DHCS Community Services Division, has implemented the Big 5 by 2025. This multi-program approach will support and build state-level infrastructure for behavioral health prevention across California.
What are the Big 5 by 2025? The Big 5 are comprised of the following statewide behavioral health prevention projects:
- The publication of California’s Behavioral Health Prevention Plan (BHPP).
- Development of the California Substance Use Prevention Evidence-Based Resource (SUPER).
- Revised application for the Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services Block Grant Prevention Set-Aside.
- Roll out of Advance Behavioral Health Prevention California (ABHPC) training and technical assistance (TTA) services.
- Collaboration with the Prospectus Group in the newly launched ECCO data collection and reporting system for primary prevention services.
Through the implementation of the Big 5 by 2025, DHCS aims to strengthen state-level planning and evaluation processes, encourage the widespread use of evidence-based and community-defined practices for behavioral health prevention, streamline data collection and reporting, and reimagine the statewide TTA platform. Stay tuned over the coming months for ongoing updates and communication about these exciting prevention efforts from DHCS.
Fall Focus: Supporting Prevention for Transition Aged Youth (TAY) Returning to Campus
Preparing to embark on a college, university, or higher education journey is an exciting time! This experience can serve as a pathway to further independence as well as provide opportunities for career planning and professional development. Unfortunately, college-bound TAY (youth ages 18-25) are also at an increased risk of substance use and misuse, especially related to alcohol and binge drinking. This risk highlights the ongoing need for primary prevention efforts for this population.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has identified the first six weeks of college as the period during which new students are most likely to initiate or increase alcohol use. However, this risk can be mitigated; ongoing communication and the establishment of clear expectations are best practices in supporting TAY as they transition to – or back to – life on campus. Parents, caregivers, healthy adult role models, and mentors can support TAY by clearly communicating both about resiliency-driven strategies that prevent substance use while attending college, as well as share about concerns and risks associated with substance use and misuse in academic settings.
Interested in getting the conversation started? Learn more about Talking with Your College-Bound Young Adult about Alcohol on SAMHSA’s website.
Social Drivers of Health (SDOH) Fundamentals: Equal and Equitable Opportunities in Education Access and Quality
A focus on SDOH has become an important area of focus for the substance use disorder (SUD) primary prevention field. Healthy People 2030 defines the Social Determinants of Health as “the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.” One domain of SDOH is Education Access and Quality, with a Health People 2030 goal to “increase educational opportunities and help children and adolescents do well in school.”
According to SAMHSA in context of the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), the socio-ecological model supports the notion that individuals do not exist in a silo, but rather across the individual, relationship, community, and societal levels of a wider community network. Schools and educational institutions are a fundamental component of the community level, which directly aligns with the SDOH Education Access and Quality domain. Healthy People 2030 notes that “people with higher levels of education are more likely to be healthier and live longer.” Objectives to address this SDOH domain include improving access to and quality of educational opportunities for children, adolescents, and people with disabilities. Objectives additionally focus on school-based topic areas, including to “increase inter-professional prevention education in health professions programs.”
Alignments with SUD prevention best practices are bountiful under the Education Access and Quality SDOH domain. In SUD prevention, mental health (MH) promotion, and violence/trauma prevention, school-based services are frequently selected to be the program setting for evidence-based programs and strategies. This is because the implementation of evidence-based programs, policies, and practices address many risk and protective factors that are fundamental in primary prevention, including poverty, academic failure, prosocial opportunities, and availability of healthy adults and mentors. Through the Education Access and Quality SDOH domain, objectives match with many of the risk and protective factors that primary preventionists prioritize in their day-to-day prevention strategies, which not only prevents substance use, but also improves this SDOH domain.
Want to learn more about SDOH Fundamentals? Check out the ABHPC Social Drivers of Health 5 Bites!
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) – Where Can I Find Additional Information?
DEIB efforts focus on the establishment and sustainability of inclusive cultures, foster spaces that allow for personal authenticity, acceptance, and growth, and acknowledge the assets brought by varied lived experiences and diverse backgrounds. Within SAMHSA’s SPF, the components of Cultural Competence cannot be achieved without a proactive and ongoing commitment to DEIB values. These values have been defined by the California Department of Health Care Access and Information as follows:
- Diversity: The inherent and acquired qualities that make us unique as individuals or groups including lived experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Diversity is necessary but not sufficient to achieve equity, which demands an ongoing commitment not only to include, but to value and empower, all people.
- Equity: The process of identifying and removing the barriers that create disparities in the access to resources and means, and the achievement of fair treatment and equal opportunities to thrive.
- Inclusion: The intentional act of creating environments in which all individuals/groups feel and are empowered and welcomed as a valued member. Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that shares power; values each individual’s or group’s heritage, contributions, and aspirations; and guarantees full belonging to all interested parties and participants.
- Belonging: A sense of being secured, recognized, affirmed, and accepted equally such that full participation is possible.
It’s important to note that professional and personal growth in DEIB values is an ongoing commitment; this is not something that can be a one-time achievement with enough continuing education, nor can DEIB prevention efforts be sustained via an annual review process. DEIB values must be embraced via lived experience and revisited on an ongoing basis, both from the lens of personal commitment and professional competence, to be truly effective in the implementation of primary prevention services.
This year, ABHPC will be hosting a series of training events, Community of Practice learning spaces, and roundtable professional competency development opportunities to learn more about the importance of DEIB values within behavioral health prevention services. Keep an eye out for upcoming opportunities! In the meantime, check out the following resources to learn more:
- SAMHSA: Behavioral Health Equity
- National Association of Counties: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Key Terms and Definitions
- ABHPC Case Study: Understanding Risk and Protection: Contributing Factors for Adolescent Substance Use Disorders and Mental Health
- Harvard School of Public Health: Approaching Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Through a Future-Oriented Lens