Loudoun County, Va. (February 13, 2015) – The Loudoun County Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Services’ (MHSADS) Prevention/Intervention Program has received a three-year, $178,707 grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY). This is the third, three-year grant award that the Prevention/Intervention Program has received from VFHY.
The funding will be used to support one full-time Prevention/Intervention Specialist who will provide substance-abuse and tobacco-use prevention programming to at-risk elementary, middle and high school students in Loudoun County. The programs will take place in the Loudoun County Public Schools, the Loudoun County Public Library system, and in five MHSADS-operated after-school program sites: Evans Ridge Apartments, Fields of Leesburg, Sugarland Elementary, Pembrooke of Sterling, and Park View High School.
“With the rapid growth in the population of Loudoun County, increased efforts need to be made to change the attitudes of many of our young citizens about drug abuse and related social issues,” said MHSADS Director Joseph Wilson. “The three-year prevention grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth will provide resources to carry out a program for 400 at-risk youth that shows promise for very positive outcomes. The Community Services Board and the Loudoun County Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Services look forward to working with these young people.”
The main goal is for prevention/intervention staff to serve a minimum of 400 at-risk youth between the ages of 8 and 18 or grades 3 through 12, using the Life Skills Training curriculum. Life Skills Training is a multi-week program designed for elementary, middle and high school students. It focuses on changing attitudes about drug abuse. Results from a recent study found that the program can cut cigarette smoking by more than half, reduce alcohol use, increase self-esteem, change attitudes and improve knowledge of important life skills.
More information about the grant is available by contacting Richard Foster of VFHY at 804-225-3947 or Judith Romberg, Loudoun County MHSADS, at 703-771-5100.