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Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Coming to Kentucky Schools

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Six schools in Kentucky have been selected for participation in the new Kentuckians Encouraging Youth to Succeed Program (KEYS) to increase prevention efforts and identify and treat emotional disorders, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders among young students and family members, reported Grant County News Online on August 3.

Out of 30 schools in six districts, KEYS will operate in two elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school, connecting parents, students, and school staff with area mental health and substance abuse experts.

“[The selected schools] have both a high level of need and have demonstrated the ability to undertake the system partnership approach that is associated with KEYS,” said Rick Flesch, KEYS project director.

The KEYS approach includes a school-based mental health model of positive behavior interventions, inspired by the successful Kentucky IMPACT program that built a strong interagency infrastructure.

“We're taking bits and pieces of what's worked,” said Flesch. “Looking at the successes learned from IMPACT and case management and getting multiple provider resources together.”

KEYS was made possible by a $9.5 million grant from the U.S. Department for Health and Human Service's Center for Mental Health Services to the Kentucky Department of Mental Health.

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