Riverhead Community Awareness Program, Inc. (CAP) offers a variety of school and community-based programs and services to prevent substance abuse and promote mental health and well-being. Some of our most popular programs are listed below. CAP also offers customized youth and adult programs, and presentations for community groups.
Pulaski Street School Prevention Education Program
This is our most well-known and longest running program. Since 1982, CAP has provided an evidence-based program to all 5th and 6th grade students in Riverhead Central School District. The monthly program is taught by community volunteers and peer leaders from Riverhead High School and Middle School, who serve as role models for the younger students. The lessons focus on social emotional skill development and application. Topics include goal setting, decision making, managing emotions, communication, relationships, alcohol, nicotine and vaping, marijuana, and prescription drugs. Click here to learn more about volunteering for the program.
Riverhead Community Coalition
The goal of the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth is to prevent alcohol and other drug use among youth and promote a safe and healthy community. We educate, raise awareness, and participate in environmental strategies. Our current areas of focus include underage drinking, prescription drug abuse, marijuana, and vaping. Our membership includes all sectors of the community and there are many ways to participate. In 2019, we were named Coalition of the Year by CADCA, the nation’s leading drug prevention organization. Click here to learn more about the coalition.
CAP offers two evidence-based interactive parenting programs. Guiding Good Choices is a program for parents of children in middle school that gives parents the skills needed to reduce their children’s risk for using alcohol and other drugs. The program contains five sessions, with an average session length of 2 hours each week. Staying Connected with Your Teen is the counterpart to Guiding Good Choices for parents of high school age students. This program can be conducted in seven live (in-person or virtual) sessions or as a self-paced program at home.
Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems and substance use disorders. It is a live training course, which uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis. Much like traditional first aid, it gives participants the skills needed to provide initial support and help, and connect individuals to appropriate professional care, peer and social supports, as well as self-help resources.
In 2021, CAP was awarded a 5-year grant from SAMHSA to provide both Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid (for adults who work with youth) to community members and organizations for free. The training can be conducted in-person, virtually, or in a blended format. Participants who successfully complete the training are certified for three years. Specialized training modules are available for law enforcement, veterans, older adults, and fire/EMS volunteers. For more information, or to schedule training, contact Sandra Hopkins-Ouedraogo at 631-727-3722 ext. 104 or [email protected]
CAP offers short-term school-based prevention counseling by NYS licensed social workers in Riverhead High School, Riverhead Middle School, and Roanoke and Phillips Ave. Elementary Schools. The goals of prevention counseling are to prevent, delay or reduce substance use and problem gambling, and the negative consequences caused by these behaviors. After assessment and brief intervention, students may be referred to appropriate treatment or support services if they present with symptoms of substance abuse or dependence, problem gambling, or physical, mental, emotional educational or social problems.
Youth programs include Peer Leadership and Riverhead Youth Coalition for middle and high school students, and the Peacemakers, a peer-led bullying prevention group for fourth graders. To learn more about our youth programs, visit out Youth page here.