SHARP Roadshow Stresses Necessity of Survey in the Community

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The SHARP Roadshow, which was hosted by Four Corners Community Behavioral Health (FCCBH) and the CARE Coalition, took place in Price on Nov. 28. Those that were invited to attend were given the opportunity to learn more about the Student Health and Risk Prevention (SHARP) Survey while also receiving the new 2023 data specifically for Carbon County.

Carbon County Commissioners, mental health providers, Price City Council members, faith leaders, local law enforcement and more attended the roadshow, which featured Mary Johnston from BACH Harrison as the guest speaker. Johnston provided assistance in combing through the county’s data and Four Corners’ district data, which includes not only Carbon, but Emery and Grand counties as well. Due to a low number in participation, some of the Carbon County data measures from 2023 were deemed unusable.

“Carbon School District has participated and administered the survey since 2003,” explained Alysa Potter of FCCBH. “This year was the first since then that the Parent Permission Forms were removed from the registration packets and sent home with students to have signed and brought back. In all prior years, we average in the school district almost 600 participants. This year, that participation number dropped to just 111 students.”

Potter stated that the survey is administered in grades six, eight, 10 and 12, every other year, and many community partners in the area use the data for a variety of efforts. In the areas of education and community development, the role of localized student survey data, such as the SHARP survey, has become more and more crucial.

This survey aids in understanding unique challenges and needs of students and, when harnessed effectively, the data can empower educators, community leaders and the like in prevention efforts that address the specific issues that face today’s youth.

Potter stated that the survey provides a detailed snapshot of the prevailing issues within the community and ranges from substance abuse and mental health concerns to academic challenges. Through survey analyzation, the community coalition can coordinate to pinpoint issues that affect students in the area.

“This targeted approach ensures that prevention efforts are not generic, but instead cater to the unique circumstances of our community,” said Potter. “When we are armed with localized data, coalition members can develop and implement prevention programs that are tailor-made for the challenges identified in the SHARP survey. For instance, if the survey data highlights a rise in substance abuse, preventive measures can be designed to address the root cause specific to our community.”

The survey data also works to effectively allocate resources such as funding for counseling, after school programs and more. Four Corners and the local community coalition have been able to increase prevention funding by just under $300,000 in the last year as a direct result of the SHARP survey. The funds are being utilized to provide more targeted prevention needs.

Jessica Serfustini, Southeast Utah Health Department (SEUHD) Community Health Director, stated that SHARP survey data revealed that the region exhibits rates higher than the state average in several crucial areas. Through gathering this information, a proactive stance has been undertaken and programs have been amplified.

Likewise, Dr. Ashley Yaugher, who is a Professional Practice Extension Assistant Professor of Health & Wellness, stated that the Be Epic, Escape the Vape program uses SHARP survey data to identify specific risk factors that are a concern in the community and better allocate grant funding.

“In conclusion, the impact of localized student survey data on our community prevention efforts cannot be overstated. By leveraging this data, we can develop targeted, evidence-based strategies that address the specific needs and challenges faced by our youth,” said Potter. “This proactive approach not only enhances the well-being of the youth, but also fosters a sense of community engagement and collaboration, creating a foundation for sustainable, positive change.”

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