Community Medical Centers is turning to the spoken word and storytelling to gain the attention of young people in San Joaquin County’s diverse communities and raise their awareness of the dangers of substance use.
A $248,800 grant from The Center at Sierra Health Foundation to reduce stigmatization and strengthen prevention and education will fund Community Medical Centers’ new initiative and its work with local partners.
Beginning this month, Community Medical Centers’ #WordsOutspoken project will reach out to young people with a program focusing on prevention, education and connection to treatment. The multifaceted program will include a spoken word/poetry project exploring the impact of addiction on youth; college student-led multimedia projects; social media engagement; and a culminating summit featuring participants’ creations.
“This is an innovative program where youth and young adults will have the opportunity to use their voices and words to directly share the personal impact of substance use on their lives,” Community Medical Centers Chief Executive Officer Christine Noguera said. “We are excited about the impact it will have.”
Community Medical Centers is partnering on the project with Stockton poet laureate Tama Brisbane, founder of With Our Words, a nonprofit specializing in spoken word and youth engagement; and with Adriana Brogger, an associate professor of art and communication at San Joaquin Delta College who also manages the college’s radio station.
The grant from the Center at Sierra Health Foundation will help reach young people and raise awareness of the treatment options available to those suffering from substance use disorder, opioid use disorder and other behavioral health concerns. Community Medical Centers is one of 55 community-based organizations in California to receive funding from The Center at Sierra Health Foundation’s $10 million Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Access Points Project.