Prevention Partnership Spotlight
This month we would like to highlight the Ashtabula Co. Educational Service Center (ESC) as our Prevention Partner. The Ashtabula County Prevention Coalition (ACPC) was founded under Janie Gildersleeve well over two decades ago when she saw the need to raise awareness about the substance use and mental health resources available in Ashtabula County. This led to the development of the very first Family Guide Resource Manual. The Prevention Coalition has grown and changed a lot since the initial years, but one thing has remained the same: The partnership with the Ashtabula County Educational Service Center and our local school districts. These relationships have helped the Prevention Coalition implement prevention programming through our schools such as the Botvin LifeSkills Program, PAX, Rachels Challenge, and our biennial student survey. A service to the ESC and Ashtabula County students and families, Janie has recently retired. However, thanks to all her efforts over the years, the partnership between the ESC and the Prevention Coalition will continue to live on. When Alex DeGeorge was asked why she likes being part of the Ashtabula County Prevention Coalition, she stated: “I went to my first ACPC meeting in 2016 when I was an intern with a local agency. At that time the meetings were being held at the MHRS Board Office, and the way our community partners filled the room was something I’ll never forget. There were no seats left, people were standing for the entirety of the meeting, and no one seemed to mind because we were all happy to be there. I love being a part of the Ashtabula County Prevention Coalition because it is a group of people that truly care about Ashtabula County and work every day to make it even better. Every sector, every agency, and every person in our county has something to offer toward the mission of the ACPC. After all, prevention is prevention is prevention!” The Coalition has since moved its meeting location to the Ashtabula County District Library in Ashtabula and provides a virtual option for those unable to attend in person. The meetings are held Quarterly (February, May, August, and November), on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 3:00-4:00 pm. For more information on the Prevention Coalition, contact the MHRS Board at 992-3121.