The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition was awarded the Iowa Partnership for Success (IPFS) Grant in February 2015 to address underage drinking and underage binge drinking in Van Buren County. The coalition completed the fifth year of this five year grant on September 29, 2019. The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition’s IPFS project was funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The coalition received a nine month extension (September 30, 2019—June 30, 2020) from IDPH funded through State of Iowa beer and liquor permit revenue to continue to address two of the IPFS strategies and two new strategies. The coalition members chose to continue to address Alcohol Restrictions at Community Events at Privately Owned Facilities and Alcohol Restrictions in Public Places. The two new strategies are a Media Campaign produced by IDPH “As You Age, THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK” to address the increase in deaths from alcohol use by people over 45; and to promote suicide prevention work in the county.
During the nine month extension of the IPFS Project the coalition worked on implementing the four strategies it was funded to work on as follows:
1) Alcohol Restrictions at Community Events at Privately Owned Facilities: The coalition worked with privately owned facilities to help them write, adopt, and implement newly written alcohol policies focused on the Best Practices for Alcohol Service at their location. No new policies were put in place during the grant extension. The coalition would recommend that all facilities in the county put into place a written alcohol restriction policy to help limit the access to alcohol by youth and young adults. If you are interested you may contact the coalition office for more information.
2) Alcohol Restrictions in Public Places: The coalition worked with city councils to help them write, adopt, and implement newly written alcohol policies focused on the Best Practices for Alcohol Service at their local parks and ball fields. The coalition worked cities to help them to implement these policies, but no new policies were put in place during the grant extension. The coalition would recommend that all towns in the county put into place a written alcohol restriction policy for their community parks and ball fields to help limit access to alcohol by youth and young adults.
3) Older Adult Drinking Prevention Media Campaign: The coalition worked with local media outlets to implement IDPH’s “As You Age, THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK” older adult drinking prevention media campaign. The coalition utilized posters at the hospital and clinics, a billboard ad, newspaper ads, and radio ads to promote the campaign during the grant extension. The coalition worked with local media outlets to ensure older adults were exposed to the media campaign.
4) Adult Suicide Prevention: The coalition worked to increase the capacity of the county to address Adult Suicide Prevention. The coalition worked to educate community members on the risk and signs of potential suicide in family members and friends. The coalition provided the opportunity to community members to participate in the online START Suicide Prevention Training to train local community members and stakeholders in how to help prevent suicides in the county. This opportunity is still available for community members. Please contact the coalition office if you are interested. The coalition members also worked to promote IDPH’s Your Life Iowa website (yourlifeiowa.org) and related resources. This included articles and ads in the newspaper.