Resilient Engaged Active Community Health (REACH)

A Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Regional (ROTA-R) project

The REACH project will provide support and resources to rural communities and stakeholders in Region 3 (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia) to address substance misuse disorder and mental health disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery.

The project is part of the Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Regional (ROTA-R) initiative supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Region 3

Project Goals & Activities

This project will develop and implement a three-component technical assistance (TA) approach for rural communities targeting substance misuse and mental health disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery in HHS Region 3 (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia) It involves a collaboration among the Extension systems of all 5 states in the region.

The TA components include:

  • A set of 10 web-based modules, called Tier 1, which are focused on foundational skills and concepts in intervention and implementation science.
  • A series of monthly live webinars focused on needs of vulnerable, under-represented and underserved populations, developed jointly by Extension experts in the 5 states.
  • A widespread dissemination of the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to individuals in rural communities, with the goal of reaching 100 stakeholders per state per year

In two years, across the three types of TA activities, we expect to reach at least 2,000 rural stakeholders across HHS Region 3.  

Project Support

  • We will collect data on TA utilization patterns, stakeholder satisfaction with TA format and content, and ongoing needs and gaps. This data will be used to develop added resources and adapt existing ones using a continuous quality improvement framework.
  • Penn State University will serve as the lead organization and will be responsible for developing most of the TA content, coordinating the project evaluation, financial administration of the grant, and management of the web-based Learning Management System that will house many of the TA materials and data collection tools.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

Identify. Understand. Respond. Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues. 

Webinars

A series of 10 live webinars per year (20 total) focused on needs of vulnerable, under-represented and underserved populations, developed jointly by Extension experts in the 5 states in collaboration with the PTTC in our region.

Prevention Academy: Tier One Modules 

A technical assistance component including a set of 10 web-based modules, called Tier 1, which are focused on foundational skills and concepts in intervention and implementation science.

Calendar of Events

  • MHFA trainings are monthly
  • The next monthly webinar is February 27. Delaware: GEM: Get Experience in Mindfulness and Emotional.

Partners & Contact Information

Pennsylvania

Melissa Tomascik
Education Strategy and Planning Manager and ROTA R Project Director
Penn State Prevention Research Center
mot101@psu.edu 

Christy Tomascik
Education Program Specialist ROTA R Pennsylvania Coordinator
Penn State Prevention Research Center
cat127@psu.edu 

Maryland

Ghaffar Ali Hurtado Choque
Assistant Prof. & Extension Specialist
University of Maryland – School of Public Health 
ahurtado@umd.edu

Alex Chan
Mental and Behavioral Health Specialist
University of Maryland Extension
alexchan@umd.edu 

Delaware

Kim Silva, MPH
Prevention Educator
University of Delaware Cooperative Extension
ksilva@udel.edu
Learn More

West Virginia

Gina Taylor
Extension Professor
WVU Extension
Gina.Taylor@mail.wvu.edu
Learn More

Virginia

Jenni Fichthorn
Project Coordinator
Virginia Tech/Virginia Cooperative Extension
jenniferf19@vt.edu
Learn More

This project is supported by grant #1H79TI085603-01 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).