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Home » Webinar: A culture of prevention: What does that mean and how would it affect research and practice?

Webinar: A culture of prevention: What does that mean and how would it affect research and practice?

A recent commentary in Prevention Science, [Sloboda, Z., David, S.B. Commentary on the Culture of Prevention. Prev Sci (2020). ] explored the concept of a culture of prevention and what that means to research and practice. The commentary was requested by the Associate Editors of a Special Issue on the topic. In the call to scientists for articles, the journal defined the concept as the “general orientation or readiness of a group of people…to address problems by using a preventive, rather than a reactive approach.”

But how do we normally address serious behavioral health problems? Generally, it is piecemeal. We first identify a problem—often affecting large numbers of people, then devise programming to prevent them in the future.  And generally, the focus is on treatment first. While we believe in ‘preventing problems before they happen,’ operationally we rarely build such programming without a recognition of serious problems that have affected many. And even then, we may not activate interventions for quite a while—e.g., the opiate overdoses of the past couple of years took a long time before policymakers recognized and provided significant funding to intervene effectively with emergency Narcan and treatments but not in the prevention of substance use. 

So how would a culture of prevention change that formula? Could we establish an infrastructure that is built to prepare and prevent populations from behavioral health problems? If so, what would that look like? In this session,  Dr. Zili Sloboda will open our discussion by providing a general overview of the issues raised in the Commentary and her general take on this issue. Then Claudia Zundel and Craig PoVey will give us the view from their positions at the state level where the leadership in regard to prevention decision-making happens. How do they think of the value and possibilities of a “Culture of Prevention.” We will then open discussion with our audience.


Guest commentators: 

Claudia A. Zundel, MSW - Ms. Zundel serves as the Director of Community Prevention and Early Intervention for the Office of Behavioral Health at Colorado Department of Human Services. Ms. Zundel previously served as the Principal Investigator for a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA grant; Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their families commonly known as System of Care. Ms. Zundel has a 25+ year career at the Colorado Department of Human Services but is known for her innovation and acting as a catalyst to initiate new projects. She previously served as the Director of Child, Adolescent and Family Services at the Office of Behavioral Health; Cross System Project Manager, Director of Early Childhood Mental Health and Family Center Director. Early in her Colorado career she worked in Governor Romer’s office in Communities for a Drug Free Colorado where she first was introduced to substance abuse prevention.


Craig PoVey MSW - Mr. PoVey works for the State of Utah, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, where he is the Prevention Administrator. Through serving in this capacity, he is a member of the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc. (NASADAD). He served on the Board of Directors for NASADAD and is the Past President of the National Prevention Network, a subsidiary of NASADAD. Craig PoVey’s broad understanding of behavioral health science and the needs of prevention practitioners has landed him in several advisory committees including guest member of the Society for Prevention Research, CADCA’s Coalition Advisory Committee, and the Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology. He is the past Chair of the Utah Prevention Advisory Committee. In his early career he was a mental health and substance abuse therapist for adolescents.

Date and Time: 
October 8, 2020 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm