Military prevention subcommittee awarded $71,000 grant

By Brooke Curley

SAFFORD – They aim to make the world a better place, and with a recent grant of $71,000, their work can go just a bit further.

Awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the $71,000 grant will go toward funding events, classes, and meetings. The grant is named Partnership for Success and is overseen by the Faith and Family, AHCCCS and the Governor’s Office of Youth.

A subcommittee of the Graham County Substance Abuse Coalition (GCSAC), the military prevention committee, stresses prevention of alcohol and prescription drug abuse. Focusing on military-aged youth and family in the age range of 12-17, and college age individuals between 18-24, the new subcommittee hopes to engage with the community and bring about a change for the better.

GCSAC Project Coordinator Rosa Contreras told Gila Valley Central that the new subcommittee plans to bring the community together in service projects and family-oriented activities. The activities will be educational but they will also be valuable resources for the military families in the Gila Valley.

“We’re still a part of the coalition, but we’re servicing different parts of the population,” Contreras said. “With this grant, we’re able to provide education to the community on underage drinking and prescription drug misuse. It’s basically focusing on alcohol and prescription drug misuse education. We feel these populations are underrepresented in our community and they lack resources.”

Contreras said the subcommittee will also specifically focus on being an asset to the military members and their families within the community. She hopes to bring multiple military organizations together, creating a unit of resources and strength.

“One of the things we would really like to do – specifically for military community and military families in general – is to bring our military organizations closer together, so we can address the needs of our military families and our veterans in the area and be able to better serve them,” Contreras said.

One of the upcoming events planned by the military prevention committee will be March 31 from 4-7 p.m. at the Graham County General Services Building. This will be an open event for veterans and military family. There will be informational lectures on Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, substance abuse and multiple community resources will be represented and available to those in attendance.

For more information contact Rosa Contreras at (928)-322-7785