Promoting Positive Change

in Rhode Island Communities.

February is Black History Month!

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. The 2024 theme is African Americans and the Arts – exploring the key influence African Americans have had in the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression. Learn more about Black History Month here.

Harm Reduction Guide for Prevention Professionals in RI

Harm reduction is everywhere and is implemented to reduce harm to people in our communities. The Harm Reduction Guide for Prevention Professionals in Rhode Island was developed by BHDDH, in partnership with the New England PTTC. The Guide includes:

  • A definition of harm reduction
  • Shared goals and priorities
  • Collaboration across the continuum
  • Best and innovative practices
  • Resources

RI Stack the Deck Harm Reduction Initiative (2023)

Rhode Island’s “Stack the Deck” initiative aims to empower everyone with harm reduction tools and resources to successfully find care through compassionate, human connection and use substances more safely.

Save the Date for RI-PREVCON 2024!

The RI Governor’s Council on Behavioral Health’s Prevention Advisory Committee and RI Student Assistance Services (RISAS) are proud to co-host Rhode Island’s third statewide prevention conference on April 11th, 2024 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, RI. Save the date for RI-PREVCON 2024, To Equity and Beyond: Powered by Prevention Science!, and look out for more details coming soon!

RI Opioid Overdose Spike Alert Notification System

The Rhode Island Department of Health has updated their Overdose Spike Alert notification system to be more accessible to the public. Alerts go out when a particular region within the state exceeds its established threshold based on non-fatal overdose data from emergency medical services (EMS) and emergency departments (EDs). This collaborative response informs residents, municipal leaders, public safety and healthcare professionals, harm reduction organizations, and other stakeholders of increased drug overdose activity. Data is updated daily.  To sign up for alerts, click here

Improving Student Health, One Program At a Time

The Town of East Greenwich convened both students and adults on Monday, December 4th, to talk about what is being done to address lingering issues facing students following the COVID-19 pandemic. This is part of East Greenwich’s implementation of the state’s Learn365RI program. Read the article here.

October 2023 Drug Take Back Day

Drug Take Back Day is a campaign that encourages the safe disposal of unnecessary medications in an effort to prevent medication misuse. Thanks to our local substance use prevention community, Rhode Island’s October 2023 Drug Take Back Day was a success!

Study Guide for the Prevention Specialist Certification Exam - Revised January 2024

The 2024 revised RI Study Guide was designed as a study aid to help prevention professionals prepare for and pass the Rhode Island Prevention Specialist Certification Exam. The Guide includes edits and updates made to the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) prevention specialist exam.

National Drug Take Back Day October 28, 2023

National Drug Take Back Day will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2023 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Click the button to see a list of RI’s permanent prescription drug disposal sites so that you can safely dispose of any unwanted or unused medications!

2022 LGBTQ+ RI Student Survey (RISS) Data Brief

The results of the 2022 RI Student Survey (RISS) have been analyzed to compare LGBTQ+ students with their heterosexual and cisgender peers to determine the extent of the disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ youth in Rhode Island. The results of this analysis are presented within the 2022 LGBTQ+ RISS Data Brief.

SAMHSA Advisory: Identification and Management of Mental Health Symptoms and Conditions Associated with Long COVID

This SAMHSA advisory (June, 2023) discusses the epidemiology of the mental health symptoms and conditions of Long COVID, provides evidence-based resources for the treatment of those conditions, and offers possible resources.

SAMHSA Report on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Behavioral Health

SAMHSA has released a new data report, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Behavioral Health: Results from the 2021 and 2022 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Findings from the report indicate that lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults are more likely than straight adults to use substances, experience mental health conditions including major depressive episodes, and experience serious thoughts of suicide.

Drug Take Back Day 2023

Drug Take Back Day is a campaign that encourages the safe disposal of unnecessary medications in an effort to prevent medication misuse. Thanks to our local substance use prevention community, Rhode Island’s April 2023 Drug Take Back Day was a success!

Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Click below to learn more and find a take-back location near you!

Healthy Kids Day

Join us from 10am-12pm on April 29th at the Ocean Community YMCA (Acadia Branch) for snacks, crafts, vendors, face painting, and more! Event is free and open to the public.

Tik Tok Social Campaign

The RI Office of Health and Human Services; RI Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals; RI Department of Health; and community partners developed a Tik Tok Social Campaign to address the dangerous challenges that youth are being encouraged to participate.

Background Checks and Working with Youth Resources

This document outlines best practices and resources for working with youth, as well as guidance around obtaining and reviewing background checks from the RI Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI).

Order Free Safe Storage Lock Bag

Locking up your medications can help save lives. To get your FREE medication lock bag please fill in the information below and one will be sent to you free of charge. Thanks for keeping your family and our communities safe!

Infographic – Partnership for Success: 2021–2022

This infographic highlights the many evidence-based campaigns and successes that have been implemented and achieved by PFS providers from 2021-2022.

Prevention is Hope – Celebrating Ten Years of the Rhode Island Prevention Resource Center

The Rhode Island Prevention Resource Center (RIPRC) celebrates its tenth anniversary in this video series, Prevention is Hope

Prevention Fellow Opportunity

AdCare Educational Institute of Maine, Inc. is seeking to hire a highly-motivated individual into a new Prevention Fellowship Program being implemented through its New England Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) program.  This one year fellowship, funded by SAMHSA, is part of a national fellowship program working to train and sustain a well-trained and knowledgeable cadre of prevention professionals who understand and exemplify the principles and best practices of substance use prevention.

Adversity and Mental Health of Sexual and Gender Minorities in Rhode Island

This data brief developed by the Statewide Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) on behalf of the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) provides information regarding adversity and mental health of sexual and gender minorities in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Student Survey Infographic

Rhode Island Student Assistance through their Project SUCCESS initiative developed this infographic using results from the Rhode Island Student Survey.

Youth Driven

Youth Driven is a traffic safety and leadership program that is led by the Rhode Island Student Assistance Services (RISAS) and supported by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), Office On Highway Safety. Youth Driven is a year round RI high school program and it begins with an educational summer summit. Every high school that attends the summit creates an action plan for the upcoming school year, focused around traffic safety. 

A Behavioral Health Emergency Plan

Like a physical health crisis, a behavioral health crisis can be devastating for individuals, families, and communities. A Behavioral Health Crisis Plan is intended to help families of those living with a behavioral health condition to effectively manage a crisis. It is difficult to predict if or when that will happen, however having a plan will quickly provide the needed information. Everyone does their best during difficult times; having a plan with pertinent information in one place will make it less complicated when a situation becomes overwhelming. Take a moment to fill out the plan (provided in English, Spanish, and Portuguese) and keep copies in several places, such as on a phone, in the car, and in a wallet.

Over-the-Counter Does Not Mean On-the-Counter Campaign

It’s too easy for your child or teen to access drugs left on kitchen or bathroom counters and medicine cabinets. To learn more about how to safely store medications, check out the work that Region 7 and the RI Regional Prevention Coalitions are doing through the Over-the-Counter Does Not Mean On-the-Counter campaign to remind parents and caregivers to always securely store ALL painkillers and other common drugs.

Rhode Island Social Host Law Campaign

The Rhode Island Regional Coalitions have partnered with JSI to establish a Social Host Law Campaign through the Partnerships for Success grant provided by BHDDH. The campaign aims to educate and inform Rhode Island residents about the Social Host Law, which states it is illegal to buy, provide, supply alcohol, or provide a place to consume alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. The campaign also raises awareness of the health and social consequences of underage drinking, including impacting brain development and decision making skills.

What's New

Click to view BHDDH’s revamped website!

Pause RI

During these unprecedented times of crisis, Pause RI is here to help. Now is a good time to pause – to assess, to self-reflect, and if needed, to ask for help.

Emerging Trends in Vaping: What Schools Need to Know

This is a self-paced e-training developed for educators, Student Assistance Counselors, administrators, prevention specialists, and parents.

RI Good Samaritan Law Factsheet

View this factsheet to learn more about protections against prosecution for anyone experiencing an overdose or anyone who calls 9-1-1 for a person experiencing an overdose.

Virtual Hidden in Plain Sight

Hidden in Plain Sight allows parents a unique interactive opportunity to look into a teen’s mock bedroom. The room is full of common household items that could be used to hide or disguise drug, alcohol, tobacco use or other “risky” behaviors.

Fostering Resilience in Children

Join Child Psychologist, Dr. Kevin Plummer in a FREE webinar about your role as a parent/guardian in fostering resilience in youth. On your own time and at your own pace!

Virtual Hidden in Plain Sight: Southern Providence County

An interactive display providing parents with signs of risky behavior and possible drug use and the tools needed to have constructive conversations.

RI PREVCON Virtual Series: Webinar 5

Save the date for the fifth webinar in the RI PREVCON Virtual Series. Given the uncertainty around safety in executing an in-person conference in the coming year amid COVID-19, the PREVCON planning committee has decided to host a series of prevention focused webinars. The next is on October 22nd!

At-Home Drug Take-Back Kits

Expired or unused medication starting to take over your medicine cabinet? Bored & looking for something to do while at home? Why not clean out your medications & send them to a pharmacy where they can be safely disposed of.

In collaboration with CVS Health, the Kent & South County Prevention Coalitions will be providing FREE Medication Mailers to those who request them. Fill out the information below and we will send the free mailer straight to you.

For more information, or with any questions contact: kcscprevention@gmail.com

Click here to sign up.

Local Student Creates Opioid PSA

Check out this Rhode Show segment about a local youth’s public service announcement!

Video Profile: Governor Raimondo’s Opioid Overdose Task Force Strategic Plan

Governor Gina Raimondo’s Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force focuses on saving lives and changing the social conditions that cause substance use disorders and keep people with substance use disorders from getting effective support. In this video profile, Governor Raimondo, Senior Advisor Tom Coderre, and others discuss the four pillars of the Opioid Overdose Task Force Strategic Plan and highlight some of the work that is being done in Rhode Island to prevent opioid use and opioid related deaths.

Community Profiles

What’s going on in your community? Community Profiles highlight substance use and mental health challenges in your community.

Join RIPRC eNews

Sign up for our mailing list and receive RIPRC updates

Provider
Profiles

Cannabis Policy & Prevention in Rhode Island with Sarah Hall

In May 2022, RI made the decision to legalize adult cannabis use through the RI Cannabis Act. In this interview, Sarah Hall—BHDDH’s cannabis subject matter expert—discusses the details of this legislation and the history that predeced it, its influence on cannabis prevention efforts in RI, how the State is working to advance equity and racial justice through the regulated legal cannabis market and why this is critical, and future goals for the State.

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline with Joe Ash

Thanks to the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020, 9-8-8 is now the new dialing code for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in RI, as well as nationwide. In this interview, Joe Ash—Administrative Director of the BH Link and 988 Call Center in RI—discusses how the 988-crisis line was established, what this resource offers, what its impact has been thus far within RI, and opportunities for collaboration moving forward.

Partnership for Success (PFS) Text-A-Tip Program with Steven Eiland

The PFS grant aims to reduce rates of underage drinking among individuals ages 12–20 through a variety of evidence-based programs. One such program is the Text-A-Tip initiative, which the East Bay Regional Coalition (Region 5) has implemented within all three of its PFS-funded East Bay communities. In this interview, Steven Eiland—Region 5’s PFS Coordinator—discusses what the Text-A-Tip initiative entails, how this initiative has been operationalized within Region 5, some of the short and long-term goals of the program, and the impact that this program has had in terms of reducing and preventing underage drinking within Region 5 communities.

RI State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) with Samantha Rosenthal and Samantha Borden

Since its establishment in 2006, the RI State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) has played an important role in terms of informing behavioral health programming and prevention efforts throughout the state. In this interview, Samantha Rosenthal—SEOW lead epidemiologist—and Samantha Borden—SEOW CO-Chair—provide an overview of the SEOW, discuss the goals, strategies, and impact of the SEOW, and share a bit about how the RI substance use prevention community can become involved in supporting the work of the SEOW.

Discussing the FDA’s Proposed Ban on Menthol Cigarettes with Kirsten Skelly

In April 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed new national program standards that would ban the production and sale of menthol cigarettes. In this interview, Kirsten Skelly, Program Manager for the Rhode Island Department of Health Tobacco Control Program, provides an overview of this proposed ban, its significance, and the potential implications it would have in Rhode Island.

Richard Charest, Director of BHDDH

In this interview, BHDDH Director Richard Charest discusses his vision for prevention in Rhode Island, some of the ways that Rhode Island prevention providers are currently helping BHDDH to address pressing behavioral health challenges, and his commitment to supporting a strong prevention infrastructure in order to develop, maintain, and ensure a solid foundation for prevention work across the state.

Nancy Murray and Wendy Looker on Problem Gambling and Gaming Prevention

In this interview, Wendy Looker—Executive Director of the Rhode Island Council on Problem Gambling—and Nancy Murray—Problem Gambling Services Program Manager for the Rhode Island Lottery—discuss the importance of gambling and gaming addiction prevention, strategies that parents and caretakers can utilize to prevent gambling and gaming addiction, and the ways by which substance use prevention providers can support the gambling and gaming prevention efforts that are currently happening in Rhode Island.

Dr. Maria Teresa Coutinho – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Behavioral Healthcare

In this interview, Dr. Coutinho discusses her research, implicit bias and inequitable care within the U.S., her experience as Co-Chair of the Strengthening Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Committee at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and systemic racism within the context of behavioral healthcare.

Kathryn Power, Director of BHDDH

In this interview, Director Kathryn Power discusses how the behavioral health landscape has changed since she previously served as Director, her vision for prevention in Rhode Island, and her views on the important work that prevention providers are doing in the state.

Suicide Prevention at the Rhode Island Department of Health

Jeffrey Hill—Violence and Injury Prevention Coordinator at the Rhode Island Department of Health—discusses how RIDOH’s suicide prevention work has evolved, key accomplishments, important collaborations, and future plans for this work.

BH Link – Behavioral Health Crisis Intervention Services

BHDDH’s Director of the Division of Behavioral Health, Corinna Roy, discusses the innovative behavioral health crisis intervention services provided by BH Link.

Video Profile: Governor Raimondo’s Opioid Overdose Task Force Strategic Plan

Governor Gina Raimondo’s Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force focuses on saving lives and changing the social conditions that cause substance use disorders and keep people with substance use disorders from getting effective support. In this video profile, Governor Raimondo, Senior Advisor Tom Coderre, and others discuss the four pillars of the Opioid Overdose Task Force Strategic Plan and highlight some of the work that is being done in Rhode Island to prevent opioid use and opioid related deaths.

Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals

Rebecca Boss, Director of BHDDH, discusses her experience in behavioral healthcare, as well her vision for the state agency she leads.

Anchor Recovery: Peer Recovery Services

George O’Toole, Manager of the Anchor ED program at Anchor Recovery Community Center – Pawtucket, discusses the importance of peer support systems in recovery.

BHDDH: Improving Youth Treatment Systems in Rhode Island

Trisha Suggs, BHDDH discusses her work on the State Youth and Young Adult Treatment Planning Grant.

Latest
Resources

Prevention Success Video Series (HHS Region 1)

This video series highlights several initiatives from across New England following evidence-informed prevention practices to develop effective prevention programs. Through interviews, you will see examples of how these prevention practitioners use prevention science...

Training & Events

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$10,000 MHARI Scholarship: Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Behavioral Healthcare

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BH Link

In the event of a mental health or substance use crisis, call to connect with a licensed counselor, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Bilingual support and medications to assist with recovery are available.

401.414.LINK (5465)