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The Forum Missoula Forum for Children & Youth

The Missoula Forum for Children and Youth is a program within the Missoula City-County Health Department that works to prevent underage substance abuse in Missoula County through the coordination of coalitions that organize and implement community-wide projects to provide early childhood support, promote positive healthy choices for young people, and carry out environmental strategies to prevent underage substance abuse.

Our Mission: To lead collaborative, proactive community efforts to prevent underage substance use and to foster the development of healthy and resilient children and youth.

Coalitions

The following coalitions are coordinated by the Forum:

Missoula Underage Substance Abuse Prevention (MUSAP) –MUSAP is a collaborative workgroup of key community partners who are focused on implementing environmental and evidence based prevention strategies to reduce underage substance use in Missoula County. Their main focus is to reduce rates of drinking and tobacco use, as well as recreational use of marijuana, in our youth. They do this by encouraging parental involvement with their children, changing laws and norms related to substance use, and increasing awareness about the consequences of substance use in young people.

Missoula Prescription Drug (Rx) Task Force – The Missoula Prescription Drug (Rx) Task Force was created in 2014 in response to growing concern about the rise in prescription drug misuse and abuse in Missoula County. The group utilizes a multi-pronged approach to educate the community at large about the potential dangers of prescription drugs, such as accidental poisoning of young children, high rates of prescription medication abuse among young adults, and the importance of proper
medication disposal.

Healthy Start Missoula – Healthy Start Missoula is the local Best Beginnings affiliate and is part of a statewide Best Beginnings initiative under the authority of the State Best Beginnings Advisory Council.  Healthy Start Missoula is a coalition of early childhood service providers in Missoula County. Healthy Start provides outreach to parents on various topics and available programs in Missoula such as respite care, high-quality childcare, parenting classes, and home visiting programs in an effort to
increase the well-being of families with young children. They also organize events and programs to increase awareness and support around current issues and programs impacting families with young children.

Community Training and Events

The Forum conducts workshops and presentations on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Medication Safety, Substance Use and Decision Making, Media Literacy, Local Substance Use Data, and more. We also hold several community conversations and other events throughout the year to raise awareness around important issues in prevention and facilitate networking opportunities between our community partners.