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Creating Community Solutions Alliance Wins IAP2 USA Project of the Year

We wanted to share the great news that last month, the Creating Community Solutions Alliance received the International Association of Public Participation’s USA Project of the Year Core Value Award.

ccs-logoNCDD is one of six organizations that make up the core CCS alliance — including the National Institute for Civil Discourse (the lead partner), Everyday Democracy, the National Issues Forums Institute, the Deliberative Democracy Consortium and AmericaSpeaks.

Creating Community Solutions won for its work in bringing people to the table for the national dialogue on mental health dialogue. To date, Creating Community Solutions has helped organize almost 200 community dialogues on mental health, and through our innovative Text, Talk, Act program, we have engaged thousands of young people in a conversation on mental health. Go to http://iap2usa.org/corevaluesawards2014 learn more about the award.

Congratulations also to NCDD members Doug Sarno and John Godec, who were recognized for their role in the St. Vrain Valley School District project “Leadership St Vrain – Empowering Parents through P2,” which won Research Project of the Year.

Creating Community Solutions has been an integral component of the National Dialogue on Mental Health, launched by President Obama and supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as well as other agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education.

CCS has organized or supported three main forms of participation around the question “How can we work together to strengthen mental health, particularly for young people?”:

  1. CCS-Map-11-17-14In the cities of Albuquerque, Birmingham, Columbus, Kansas City, Sacramento, and Washington DC, one of the CCS organizations helped form a local steering committee, led by the mayor, for a large-scale deliberative process leading to a metro-wide action plan for strengthening mental health, with up to $200,000 raised in each city for the implementation of the plan.
  2. In nearly 200 cities and towns thus far, CCS has helped local organizers host deliberative forums or town meetings.
  3. On December 5th, 2013, April 24th, 2014 and October 6, 2014, CCS held “Text, Talk, and Act,” a nationwide, text-enabled, face-to-face discussion on mental health.

In all three formats, participants used an array of materials produced by CCS to learn more about mental health, survey some of the options for strengthening mental health, and recommend measures to be included in local action plans. Metro-wide action plans are being implemented in six cities.

Participant satisfaction levels were high for both the large-scale deliberative events and the “Text, Talk, and Act” dialogues. Throughout all the participation formats, participants consistently named the same core themes for strengthening mental health.

Over 1,500 people have been engaged in the six lead cities, over 1,600 in the other communities, and an estimated 3,500 in “Text, Talk, and Act.”

If you haven’t been following this project, there is much to dig into on the website at www.creatingcommunitysolutions.org. You can also look back on NCDD’s blog posts in the CCS tag at www.ncdd.org/tag/creating-community-solutions. NCDD is very proud to be part of this award-winning project!


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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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