The site for substance use disorder prevention and mental health promotion professionals and volunteers.

Home » Announcements


Watch this page for announcements from other Athena Forum users. Select Send me Announcements in the account settings menu to get notified when there are new postings to this page.

January 14, 2022

The Washington State Healthy Youth Survey (HYS) is a collaborative research study conducted by the Department of Health, Health Care Authority, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Liquor and Cannabis Board. It focuses on health risk behaviors, such as violence and alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use that can result in injury and impact positive development among youth. The survey also includes questions about protective factors, hope, and community.  The HYS contains questions that have historically been included on a removable portion of the survey. Schools decided whether to ask these questions of their students in grades 8 – 12. The topics include:

  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Violence 

Tribal leaders are invited to participate in a brief survey regarding how these topics influence your community, in what way the questions should be presented on the survey, how to ensure that Native youth are represented, and how to make the survey as useful as possible to Tribal programs and organizations.

This survey link will be open through January 21, 2022

More information about the survey and contact information is on the attached letter. 

January 14, 2022

The Department of Health (DOH) is reaching out to individuals and communities who have experienced health inequities or racism in the health care system. Advocacy groups and health care professional associations are also invited.

This is an effort to learn how people are harmed due inequities in the health care system, so we can create positive change. Information we gather from listening sessions will be used in future workshops to create rules for health equity continuing education. 

DOH recognizes that sharing experiences about this subject may be difficult. We recognize and appreciate the emotional labor that will take place. We will make an intentional effort to create a safe space for participants and staff during this process. Sharing your experience is voluntary and it is up to you how you would like to share. If speaking in a group setting does not work for you, there is an option for written comments. No matter how you choose to take part, please know your willingness to engage in this process is greatly appreciated.

During these listening sessions, we will ask the following questions:

  • What does health equity mean to you?
  • What are your experiences with health inequities and how have they affected you?
  • How can health care professionals improve so that they are providing fair healthcare?
  • Is there anything else DOH needs to take into consideration?

Four sessions will be held, with login details on the Athena calendar: February 1, 10, 15, and 24.

January 14, 2022

The annual Washington Poison Center Poster Contest is now open! Any Washington student, kindergarten through 6th grade, may submit their art on the theme “Mr. Yuk Helps Everyone!” This year’s winner will receive a Kindle, a classroom party, and a visit with their local state representative. 

The last day for a student to submit their entry is Friday, February 11. Information and submission instructions.

January 14, 2022

Your efforts to empower teens and young adults to make informed decisions about drugs and alcohol and to support their mental health are more important than ever. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) invites you to join in during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW), March 21–27, 2022. NDAFW is a week-long national health observance highlighting the science-based facts about drugs, alcohol, and addiction.

During NDAFW, you can use NIDA’s resources to help support teens, increasing protective factors to help reduce negative outcomes.

Here’s how to get involved:

  1. Check out these five steps to hosting an NDAFW event.
  2. Find lesson plans and other materials for educators, counselors, and prevention specialists.
  3. Register your event online to have your event listed on NIDA’s events map. It takes only a few minutes to register.
January 13, 2022

The Drug Enforcement Administration announced the release of the updated edition of Growing Up Drug Free: A Parent’s Guide to Substance Use Prevention, a publication jointly produced by DEA and the U.S Department of Education. The guide includes an overview of substance use among children, youth, and young adults; descriptions of some substances young people may use; a look at risk factors that may make children, youth, and young adults try alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, and protective factors that help offset those risks, along with suggestions for how to talk to young people about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. 

The U.S. Department of Education is currently working on a Spanish version of the publication, and DEA is working toward obtaining print copies for distribution. 

January 13, 2022

The University of Washington's Addictions, Drugs, and Alcohol Institute (ADAI) released two new resources: a report on increasing opioid deaths and a webpage supporting a new state law.

The report is self-descriptive: Dramatic Increases in Opioid Overdose Deaths Due to Fentanyl Among Young People in Washington

The SB 5195-WA State’s 2021 naloxone law webpage from, shares resources regarding Washington State's new law, 2SSB 5195, “Concerning prescribing opioid overdose reversal medication,” that went into effect on January 1, 2022. The law requires behavioral health agencies and hospitals to prescribe or distribute naloxone to patients at risk of opioid overdose. 


January 13, 2022

The SIOL Conference Planning Committee invites you to submit a workshop proposal to present at the 2022 Say It Out Loud Conference on May 26. Workshop proposals should fit into one of five (5) possible categories: Adult, Youth, Elder, Advanced/Clinical/Specialized, or Fundamentals and address the conference theme, "We Are Family" to honor and recognize the many structures and diverse expression of families there are, biological and chosen. Topics of interest. Proposals arae due by February 18.

January 13, 2022

Since 2011, with your help,Strengthing Famiies Washinton has honored 281 parents and caregivers in Washington for the roles they have taken with their families, schools and communities. They have been recognized because they have shown strength, courage and empathy in their communities. This year, parents and primary caregivers have been called upon more than ever to be the buffer for the traumatic experiences that our world has been facing and we want to show our appreciation. Please help us in honoring 28 more by nominating a parent/primary caregiver/guardian for the Unsung Hero award. The nomination form is available in three languages (English, Spanish and Somali) and can also be found on our website.

All nominations must be submitted by January 17, 2022.  

January 10, 2022

The Prevention Voices WA Policymaker Engagement Toolkit is here! Share the information with your networks, and watch the videos as a group. The toolkit consists of:

  1. The Policymaker Engagement Guide from Healthy Gen. (Scroll to “Learn more about the legislative process.”)
  2. A four-part mini-webinar series on WA Legislature 101(Scroll to “Learn more about the legislative process.”)
  3. A worksheet to determine your own organizational limitations for policymaker engagement activities. (Attached.)
  4. A decision-making tree for making quick decisions during legislative session. (Attached.)
January 10, 2022

The Washington State Department of Health is pleased to announce two Request for Funding Applications (RFA) for the Youth Cannabis & Commercial Tobacco Prevention Program. YCCTPP will provide funds to implement policy, systems, and environmental changes to address youth cannabis and commercial tobacco use in the community and/or one of the state’s priority populations.

DOH anticipates funding nine local community organizations throughout the state for their regional network and a minimum of five local community organizations for priority populations through CDC commercial tobacco funds and cannabis & commercial tobacco state funds. The amount of funding for each organization is listed in the applications.

The CDC commercial tobacco funds have anticipated start date of April 29, 2022 and may be renewable each year through April 28, 2027 pending continuance of CDC funding and progress on deliverables.

The state funds, which includes both funding for cannabis & commercial tobacco, have anticipated start date of July 1, 2022. These funds may be renewable each year through June 30, 2027 pending continuance of DMA & YTVP funding and progress on deliverables.

Eligible community organizations are: Local Health Jurisdictions, Tribes, local Tribal entities, Accountable Communities of Health, community-based organizations, county governments, municipalities, and other health-related entities that conduct public health strategies.

Any questions will be directed to RFA Coordinator Heidi Glesmann's email. Please write “YCCTPP-RFA” in the subject line for questions.