MHA Focuses on Teens During
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

Education, Prevention and Treatment Topics of Social Media Campaign

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – MHA has produced a week-long, teen-directed social media campaign to coincide with National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week January 22 to 27, 2019. “Alcohol is the drug most commonly used by teens in America, and drinking when you’re underage puts your health and safety at risk,” said Kimberley A. Lee, VP Resource Development & Branding for MHA. “National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week is an ideal opportunity to focus attention on the ways the bodies, brains and emotions of teenagers are impacted by the use of alcohol and other drugs, such as marijuana, methamphetamines, and opioids. All drugs, even prescription drugs, can negatively impact the developing brains and bodies of teenagers, and their use or even appearance can elevate social pressures that lead to risky behaviors. MHA is going to shine a light on these issues by shattering myths associated with underage drug and alcohol use.”

Throughout the week, MHA will push a series of posts featuring individuals who are recognizable leaders and vocal advocates in the effort to combat substance use including Dr. Robert Roose, Chief, Addiction Medicine & Recovery Services Trinity Health of New England; Dr. Gina Kahn, Ed.D, Director, Safe Schools/Healthy Students for the Hampden Wilbraham Regional School District; Springfield Mayor, Domenic J. Sarno; MHA’s President and CEO, Cheryl Fasano, as well as several MHA staff from the organization’s division of Recovery and Housing services.

Posts to social media platforms including Instagram, which is frequented by a high proportion of teens and young adults, and Facebook, which is frequented by a high proportion of adults who are the parents of teens will provide simple, straightforward information to help clear up misconceptions about the impacts of teen drug and alcohol use, with the goal of starting much-needed conversations among friends, within families and in the community.

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week is also an opportunity for MHA to highlight one of its new residential programs aimed specifically at helping people who have a substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health diagnosis. “In just a few weeks, MHA will open the agency’s first Residential Rehabilitation Services (RRS) program, Recovery with Promise, to help clients with a co-occurring mental health and substance use diagnosis to live their best life by integrating their recovery with their mental health care,” said Lee. This 14 bed, 24-hour, safe, structured RRS program in the Springfield will work with clients on relapse prevention and harm reduction objectives. The specialized services provided by RRS staff help clients reintegrate into the community with the goal of returning to productive social, vocation/employment and/or educational roles. By integrating goal-oriented clinical services with focused psychiatry and medication management, MHA’s RRS helps clients become stable and develop skills they need to move successfully into long-term recovery as members of the community.

Lee also mentioned that, BestLife, MHA’s new emotional wellness treatment center set to open this spring will serve individuals, adults and families with therapies, group supports and individual mental health counseling to address a variety of needs including substance use, addiction, life skills enhancement, assessments and evaluations.

For additional resources and information about National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, visit


About MHA:

MHA is a nonprofit provider of residential and support services based in Springfield, MA, providing services throughout the Greater Springfield area to people impacted by mental illness, developmental disabilities, substance abuse and homelessness. Our core values are Respect, Integrity and Compassion.

MHA has 400 full- and part-time employees and serves more than 600 participants annually. We operate 30 residential sites, as well as extensive outreach and supported living programs. MHA receives state and federal funding from multiple sources including the MA Department of Mental Health (DMH), MA Department of Developmental Services (DDS), MA Department of Children and Families (DCF), MA Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), the MA Department of Housing and Community Development (DHDC) and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

MHA was founded in 1960 by concerned citizens to provide advocacy for people with mental illness living at Northampton State Hospital. Throughout the deinstitutionalization movement MHA developed a continuum of housing and support options to participants with a wide variety of needs. Our services reflect the belief that everyone deserves quality affordable housing, the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential and the support to pursue their personal vision and meaningfully participate in the life of their community.