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Fall River Health Services Implements National Communities That Care Program


Our Vision

"Fall River County, SD is a diverse community committed to the development of opportunities for youth, through engaged partnerships, to grow and prosper in a healthy and safe environment."

Hot Springs, SD, July 13, 2022 -- Fall River Health Services is proud to announce the collaboration with the Communities That Care organization. Communities That Care (CTC) mission guides communities through a proven fivephase change process. Using prevention science as its base, CTC promotes healthy youth development, improves youth outcomes, and reduces problem behaviors.

The five practical steps:

• STEP 1: Introduce CTC to your community.
• STEP 2: Organize a community board or collaborate with an
• existing coalition.
• STEP 3: Assess community risks and strengths using data.
• STEP 4: Create a community action plan for prevention work.
• STEP 5: Implement and evaluate programs and policies, monitor the effectiveness of those programs and
policies, and measure results to ensure improvements are achieved.

Communities That Care was proven effective and tested in a randomized controlled trial. 24 communities across 7 states
were matched in pairs within state and randomly assigned to either receive CTC or serve as control communities. Starting
in 5th grade, a panel of 4407 students has been followed by our researchers, with positive effects in the CTC group
sustained into adulthood. Illegal substance use has gone down substantially. Implementation of the CTC system has
increased compassion and reduced the stigma of mental health issues and suicide. Results have proven teens talk much
more to their friends about suicide risk--providing hope and help, when needed.

FRHS received a grant from the SD State Department of Health to implement CTC. This will allow the Fall River
community to have a local coordinator to work with key CTC instructors throughout the process, along with key
community leaders to employ a Social Development Strategy. The strategy is proven to foster the success of young
people through every stage of development in the Fall River County. For every dollar invested in CTC, $11.14 is returned
in the form of lower criminal justice system, crime victim, and health care costs, and increased earnings and tax revenues.

FRHS understands the significant effects on youth health and behavior problems that produce long-term economic
benefits. For more information or to get involved please contact, Alexander Nelson, CTC Coalition Coordinator, at or by phone, 605.745.8910, Ext: 2160. FRHS has their community at heart.

South Dakota Suicide Prevention

The Center for Communities that Care

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