Start Talking
Youth Served
Parents/Community Members Served

The goal of Start Talking is to provide resources that are needed at their fingertips.

noname (21)YUMADAOP received a grant of $175,210.00 from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to implement the Start Talking  Program, for youth who attend the Youngstown City Schools, in middle school grades 5 to 8, parents and the community, educating about drugs and alcohol.

Key Outcome Results (Research Design – Non-Experimental Correlation Design), Joe Drew PhD.

Statistically significant results with a large magnitude of change occurred in 4 key areas: (Commitment to Not Use Drugs, Attitudes Towards Drugs, Resistance to Peer Norms, Decision Making Skills)


  • Parents who talk to their children about drugs have a 50% less likely chance of using/abusing drugs.
  • Prescription drugs, heroin and other opiates’ are abused the most, due to cheap cost and easy access, the family cabinet.

The four strategies of Start Talking:

  1. KNOW – Share a variety of brief factual information geared toward middle school youth about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) to start a conversation.
  1. Parents 360RX – 11 minute video to view and share with parents, community groups to increase awareness about drug risks to everyone.
  1. Five Minutes of Life – geared toward High school athletes (Law enforcement agencies) talk about the importance of being a leader in school, positive choices in peer groups.
  1. Resiliency – 22 grants in communities across Ohio, geared toward elementary school, providing evidence based programming to facilitate resiliency, confidence, and making healthy choices.

The two objectives of Start Talking

  1. Informing parents, engaging adults in the community
  1. Provide prevention programming to reduce youth substance use, increase resiliency, and facilitate effective decision making.
Youth Led Prevention Network

This new initiative was implemented in April 2015, by the State Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program Federation, across the state of Ohio.  This network includes, Akron, Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Cleveland Hispanic, Columbus, Lima, Mansfield, Toledo, and Youngstown. SheRays’ & Associates are the consultants for this initiative. Our Youth Led Prevention Advisory Board consists of two girls and three boys between the ages of 12 to 15.

The purpose of the Youth Led Prevention Network is to provide youth who reside in the urban community with the opportunity to have their voices heard, and to create initiatives/strategies for their community which will reduce youth substance use. They participate in monthly conference calls with the other UMADAOPS, they have monthly meetings, and this summer they participated in a week long training “Prevention 101 and Fun”.


Our youth elected officers for their board:

President, Mr. Christopher McCoy

Vice President, Santajaih Douglass

Secretary, Akili Green

Treasurer, Akeem Green

Sergeant at Arms., Rashawna Watson

Youth decided on the group name of ‘See the Future”  (STF), they choose their color for T-shirts the color purple represents royalty, They created their own design.  The figure represents the youth the bowl represents what the have to contribute to the community.  Motto ‘HEALTH IS WEALTH”. The day was divided in two four hour sessions, education in the morning and recreational alternative in the afternoon.  Youth were provided with breakfast, lunch and a snack.

The youth were introduced to the Ohio Mental Health Addiction Services Prevention Taxonomy.  The Youth learned that prevention in Ohio promotes health and safety of individuals and communities.  The primary focus of prevention is to delay the onset of behavior and environmental health problems.  They learned the Risk and Protective Factors Model, evidence based and best practice curriculums.