Sep 1, 2021
Three Colorado communities partnered with the Farley Center and CU DFM colleagues to develop localized messages designed to increase awareness and start conversations among community members about mental, emotional and behavioral problems. All three communities understood that addressing people’s issues meant going upstream to the origin of the problems. The partners engaged in a boot camp translation process to develop local, customized messages and materials for dissemination to get communities comfortable engaging about mental health problems. Each of the three communities agreed, independently and simultaneously, that social connectedness was the topic most needing attention for the young people in their communities. This paper verifies the ability of communities to work together to move “upstream” to prevent their priority mental, emotional, and behavioral problems. It describes the work done together, the evaluation undertaken by community members and the project team. The most exciting part is that since the ending of this planning project, members in two of the three communities continue to work together and have found ways to finance ongoing programs in their town and counties.