Supporting the Work of So Many

Every day, prevention specialists and prevention providers across America dedicate their lives to supporting those struggling with substance misuse. Prevention First works directly with those preventionists or providers, supporting their work with the tools, training, and resources needed to change lives and build healthy communities effectively.

Prevention First has been Illinois’ preferred provider of SUPP training and technical assistance since 1985. Prevention First trains an average of 1,300 people a year, providing one-on-one technical assistance to an average of 15 SUP-funded organizations. Our team delivers an average of 55 trainings to those SUP-funded organizations, with over 32 unique programs available in our training catalog. 

We employ a multitude of different approaches to most effectively disseminate this information, including classroom-based and virtual trainings, on-line self-study, and webinar trainings, as well as one-on-one technical assistance, coaching services, and web-based resources. All of which are rooted in evidence-based prevention approaches. 

The result: Our training and technical assistance services give prevention specialists on the front line the training and information they need to effectively prevent substance misuse in their communities so they can, in turn, spend their time directly impacting their communities rather than spending valuable time researching appropriate prevention methodology.

Two-way Collaboration with Substance Use Prevention Providers

Working directly with prevention providers, we use a proactive approach to service delivery. We elicit feedback from our stakeholders by evaluating training and technical assistance services. We use an annual SUPP provider survey to collect feedback on service delivery and assess professional development needs.

We also meet regularly with our funder and collaborators, review annual performance reports, and tap into staff members’ expertise and experiences with stakeholders to identify the field's needs. With his approach, we empathetically listen to our stakeholders to improve our services and drive new services continuously.

Employing a Wide Range of Tools and Techniques

No one solution fits all for prevention training. We use a wide range of methods to meet the needs of different learners and learning styles – as our stakeholders are of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of experience.

We employ classroom-based and virtual classroom training to train in-depth topics and allow participants to practice skills and network with each other. We use online training to get information to our stakeholders as soon as possible and at their own pace. We use networking events for SUP and CSUP providers to provide the opportunity for preventionists to meet others doing similar work to discuss their successes, challenges, and experiences. We use technical assistance to meet individual preventionists where they are at and provide individualized consultation to overcome a barrier or address a specific challenge. And we have a variety of web-based resources such as fact sheets, tip sheets, infographics, videos, etc., available to give up-to-date information on a wide variety of topics.