The site for substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion professionals and volunteers.

Home » COVID-19: Creative Solutions in These Difficult Times

COVID-19: Creative Solutions in These Difficult Times

Greetings Prevention Partners,

With the ever changing public health landscape we find ourselves in, I find myself wondering if anyone out there in Prevention Land has come up with some ingenious ways to maintain services, depite restrictions on social interactions, travel, etc. You are a creative and powerful force for change in your communities, and I can't imagine that you will just take these new developments lying down, so what are you doing to carry on the good work we all do? How is technology coming into your plan? What are the compromises and work-arounds you have managed to implement?

Post your brilliant ideas here and maybe it will benefit some other community that is struggling to figure out how they will manage.

And as always, thank you all for the excellent work you are doing for youth and families in Washington.


Isaac Wulff


General Discussion
sara.broschart- Mar 19, 2020 08:00 PM Reply

We at the Liquor and Cannabis Board have decided to go virtual with our LCB-Prevention Roundtable this spring in an effort to connect with prevention and public health professionals from across the state. Usually we do these in person regionally and can only get to two regions per year. We hope this provides an opportunity for us to answer questions from communities across the state AND hear from folks like all of you what concerns you may have with the products we regulate, etc. It will also give us a chance to improve our skills with Zoom/WebEx so that remote participation is something we can more frequently offer.

We NEED your input about what topics we should cover to make this the best it can be! Please click here for a 3-minute survey and complete by 3/31.

neigelj@monroe....- Mar 20, 2020 10:18 AM Reply

In Monroe, our immediate approach has shifted away from certain strategies in our strategic plan, but we are walking out a response informed by our identified risk factors and the public health approach, targetting the risk factor: Community Disorganization:

  • Universal/Tier 1: Strategy - Increase Prosocial Connection. School staff have been assigned a student "case load" and are making telephone check-ins with each family in our district at least one time per week (beginning 3/18/20). Check-in is designed to maintain conection between families and schools, to facilitate information dissemination, and to identify need for Selective or Indicated services.
  • Selective/Tier 2: Strategy - Information Dissemination and Refferal. School staff who identify behavioral health or basic needs provide specific information about local resources (from a team curated resource list) and ask if follow-up or 1:1 consultation with a specialist (from my behavioral health team) is needed.
  • Indicated/Tier 3: Strategy - Individualized telephone support, resource brokerage, and assistance - essentially case management and consultation (for example with appointment setting, locating transoportation, unemployment assistance, etc.).

See the model attached.

Joe :o)


neigelj@monroe....- Mar 20, 2020 10:25 AM Reply

KirstenFuchs- Mar 20, 2020 10:44 AM Reply

In our community (East Valley) we were in the middle of Guiding Good Choices when this all hit. Unable to continue we're using Facebook Groups to hold our last 3 sessions online! Parents log in and watch our facilitator live and then answer questions, watch the videos, view slides and complete activities in their workbook each week. At the end of the 5 weeks they'll complete the post-survey via SurveyMonkey and recieve their certificate electronically. If you want to see it in real life, you can check it out on our page East Valley Community Coalition (green and white logo). 

Julee Christianson- Mar 23, 2020 03:24 PM Reply

Hello everyone! I have come across some great resources around supporting resiliency and protective factors, even when isolated or practicing social distancing. Some might be helpful to communicate to teachers, coaches and parents in your community.

Julee Christianson- Mar 23, 2020 03:54 PM Reply

Child Mind Institute - Supporting Families During COVID-19

erika.jenkins- Mar 24, 2020 08:47 AM Reply

Last week a collegue from Department of Children, Youth, and Families explained how during natural disasters the rates of child trafficking drastically increase. I'm sharing her message below as well as a CSE Warning Signs resource from YouthCare. 

"These COVID 19 times are new and uncharted. I think it is critical to remember that while we are encouraging folks to stay home as much as possible, home might not be the safest place for our young people. The community advocates are still available, and are currently outreaching young people via phone, email, messaging, etc. while they practice social distancing. If you need to make a referral please call 1.855.400.CSEC or email

The following is some advice from my colleague Tammy Sneed from the Office of Human Trafficking Services, the Department of Children and Families for the State of Connecticut.

  • Many schools across the state are closing for extended period of time; kids will have a significant amount of free time which often translates to more social media. 
  • Many parents/ guardians/ entrusted caregivers still have to work; many children will be unsupervised.
  • Entertainment outlets are being cancelled and closed; children and adults will have more idle time. 


  • The vast majority of our child victims are lured in and/or sold online.
  • Natural disasters increase the demand for trafficking.  Clearly this is different than what we usually think of with a natural disaster but many of the dynamics are similar ex: lack of food when children/ families rely on school meals.
  • Best prevention strategies such as structured pro-social activities, sports, positive connections with teachers and coaches, school success, church, etc. will be extremely limited or obsolete during the next few weeks or months.
  • Family stressors which will be elevated offer an opportunity for traffickers to reach out to our vulnerable children. 

 Please take care of yourself and families during these challenging times; we need you for the marathon to eradicate child trafficking. 

 Just remember that our most vulnerable children in the state become even more vulnerable during such challenging times." 




c 360.688.6237

CSEC Statewide Resources:

Eveth26- Mar 26, 2020 12:56 PM Reply

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to share what we are doing in our community and it is something you can do as well. In Honor of National Drug and Alcohol facts week (March 30 - April 5) we decided to host a virtual dress up week for our entire community to participate in. All they have to do is post a picture of them participating or email us and they will be entered into a drawing for some prizes. This is a great and fun way to get our community involved in spreading the prevention message during this time.

Monday March 30: Sock it to Drugs! - Wear your crazy or mismatched socks.

Tuesday March 31: Shade out Drugs! - wear your sunglasses to block drugs from your life.

Wednesday April 1: Red is the Universal Color of Love!
Wear red or hearts to indicate you love yourself and your family too much to turn to drugs!

Thursday April 2: PEACE OUT TO DRUGS!
Wear tie-die and post up with your peace signs!

Today wear your favorite Disney Gear on or watch a Disney Movie!

Saturday April 4:I'M A JEAN-IUS! I'M DRUG FREE!
Show that you are too smart for drugs and wear your jeans & denim!

Sunday April 5:HUGS NOT DRUGS!
Practice social distancing, but go ahead and take a picture hugging your favorite stuffed animal!

Attached is our flier.

jackie.berganio...- Mar 27, 2020 10:32 AM Reply

We are compiling community and school resources then putting them on our King County website,

One of the resources found is online support gatherings for parents and caregivers who may have young children/teens/adult children experimenting with, or dependent on, substances.

The sessions are facilitated by clinicians and trained parent coaches, and held weekly for an hour each using Zoom video conferencing. I understand this is a service of Partnership for Drug-Free Kids offered with no fee assessed. Registration is required.  Please see their website, Sessions are open and with a focus on different audiences, such as parents and caregivers of teens. Please note that the start time is shown as Eastern Time (ET), which is three hours ahead of us, I believe.

KirstenFuchs- Mar 30, 2020 09:33 AM Reply

In Spokane we plan to contact the press and tell our communities what we're doing to support families during this stressful time! We drafted a release that includes information about virtual services, online resources from our coordinators and social media campaigns. I have attached an earlier draft of our release for reference. 

KirstenFuchs- Apr 01, 2020 01:43 PM Reply

In EV we also made a resource page to send home with families at meal sites!