We’re interviewing Peter Clegg, Communities That Care Coordinator in Mackinac County. Communities That Care (CTC) is a type of coalition focused on preventing youth problem behaviors. You can find your local CTC at www.UPprevention.org.
How long has CTC been going in Mackinac County?
It’s been going since July of 2015, but it’s really taken off since September of 2017.
What kind of goals does CTC have for your community?
Our overall goal is for the youth of our community to lead healthy lives through the prevention of substance abuse and suicide. Right now, we’re looking at addressing the risk factors of “low commitment to school” and “low perceived risk of harm from drug use.” And of course we’re trying to get whole community on board with prevention efforts, just have more people at table and involved.
What kind of events has your coalition held or participated in recently?
Our work groups are meeting regularly—the CTC mostly meets as small work groups focused on specific tasks like outreach, fundraising, and youth involvement. We participated in a lot of back to school events this summer, including Project Backpack, which provides backpacks and school supplies to youth who may not be able to afford them. We had “Do It for Daniel” come to our county this year, and we also hosted a Family Movie Night.
What are you most excited about coming up next?
We’re planning to have our Community Action Plan finished by the end of September; right now we’re selecting programs to address our priority risk factors. We’re having a fundraiser in November called “Bowling with a Purpose,” and the money raised will go toward prevention and hosting a dance for the middle schoolers. We added a suicide prevention work group in 2017, and we’re part of an initiative with the other CTCs in the UP to train volunteers to provide Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training free of charge.
We’ll be hosting our quarterly meeting of the full coalition on October 8, from 6pm to 7:15pm at the St. Ignace Library. New people are welcome to come and see what we’re all about! We’re always looking for new members, especially youth and parents.
Mackinac County Communities That Care is funded by NorthCare Network and coordinated by Great Lakes Recovery Centers. Mackinac County Communities That Care is part of UP Coalition Network, an umbrella organization of the 14 CTCs covering all 15 counties of the UP.