CoalitionsCommunity coalitions are one of the most effective means of promoting grassroots alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention across disciplines at the local level. Effective coalitions involve all segments of a community working together to establish and build on existing efforts focused on community behavioral health needs (alcohol and other drug abuse, mental health, suicide, gambling, etc.) to mobilize and promote health and wellness through the utilization of the public health model.

Currently, there are approximately 100 drug-free coalitions and task forces in Ohio with additional suicide prevention coalitions representing each county. Ohio has a rich history of community coalitions, task forces and other community groups that work to impact community norms; access and availability of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; media messages; and policy enforcement issues on the local level.

The Ohio Coalition of Excellence (OCoE) is a designation sponsored by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, designed to recognize excellence for coalitions who work in the behavioral health or a related prevention field. Becoming an Ohio Coalition of Excellence illustrates that your coalition is using local data and evidence-based prevention strategies to create meaningful change in your community. Applications for the designation, accepted throughout the year, will be reviewed periodically by coalition leaders and experts from across the state, based on the review criteria and scoring rubric included in the application. Any coalition addressing behavioral health issues at a community level can apply to be an Ohio Coalition of Excellence. Behavioral health issues include, but are not limited to, substance abuse, violence and suicide. Pieces of the Ohio application process closely model the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) Coalition of Excellence process, which provides a proven framework for coalition success measures.