We’re interviewing Traci Johnson, Communities That Care Coordinator in Dickinson County. Communities That Care (CTC) is a type of coalition focused on preventing youth substance use, delinquency, depression, and more. You can find your local CTC at www.UPprevention.org.
How long has CTC been going in Dickinson County?
We held our Key Leader Training on January 14, 2017. That’s when we officially introduced CTC to Dickinson County.
What is your favorite thing about CTC?
I like that CTC is about working with the community—anyone can get involved. Also that CTC helps identify and recognize gaps in our community where our young people need more support. Our coalition works on finding ways to fill those gaps with programs, resources, and activities.
What has been the biggest event for your CTC this year?
Our turning point was getting the results of the Tri-Ethnic Readiness Survey for our county. Superior Health Foundation gave funding for NorthCare and Dial Help to do the survey in each county, and seeing that Dickinson only scored a 3.9 out of 9 was an eye-opener. The survey showed us that we need a lot more awareness about substance abuse.
It really lit a fire under our key leaders, and they started a huge movement to create change. They’re saying, “We can do better!” And now our Facebook posts are being viewed by up to 3,000 people at a time because there’s such a huge push now to share and promote CTC and the changes we want to see. We’ve come up with action plans, hashtags, and solid goals for where we want our community to go from here. Our leaders have put a lot of work into our CTC.
What do you wish more people knew about CTC?
That it doesn’t take much time to be part of our coalition. You’re only looking at a few hours a month. And with more help, we could get so much more done.
What are you most excited about coming up?
We’re having a three-part segment with TV6 in the next couple weeks about our CTC Youth Survey results. And on July 23rd, TV6 is having a short segment on the importance of Narcan, which can save people who are overdosing on opioids. There’s still a lot of stigma about overdosing, but it really can happen to anyone. Maybe Grandma gets forgetful and takes too many pain pills, or a young kid finds a bottle of medicine and takes it, or a teenager is experimenting with marijuana for the first time and it’s laced with fentanyl.
Our CTC is having a free Narcan training event on July 24th. Anyone who wants to come can get a hold of me to register.
To get involved in CTC in Dickinson County, contact Traci at 906-458-2627 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find more info at https://upprevention.org/dickinson or www.facebook.com/dickinsonctc.
Dickinson County CTC is funded by NorthCare Network and coordinated by Great Lakes Recovery Centers. Dickinson County CTC is part of UP Coalition Network, an umbrella organization of the 14 CTCs covering all 15 counties of the UP.