Community Action for Safe Teens (CAST) is a committee of BGCSV whose mission is to prevent substance misuse in the Souhegan Valley, promote healthy choices among youth, and educate, support, and strengthen families.
Community Action for Safe Teens is a coalition of community leaders, including youth, who work collaboratively to improve the health of the Souhegan Valley Community. The YES (Youth Empowerment & Service) team is a youth-led/adult-guided group focusing on issues concerning them. Examples of recent projects include: Social Norms Campaign on Vaping, Homeless Youth Project – collected hygiene and warming items for homeless youth; Red Ribbon Week activities; Mental Health Awareness projects; Bullying Prevention projects, etc.
The CAST Coalition works tirelessly to empower youth and families to make safe and healthy choices. The Coalition follows the Strategic Prevention Framework to identify gaps and develop resources for youth and families. New Hampshire consistently ranks higher than the national average for youth alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and mental health issues among our most vulnerable population. The Coalition is a recipient of the $625,000 federal Drug-Free Communities Grant which has two main goals:
- Goal 1 – Increase Community Collaboration
Establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, including governmental, public and private non-profit agencies to support the efforts of community coalitions working to prevent and reduce substance use among youth.
- Goal 2 – Reduce Youth Substance Use
Reduce substance use among youth and, over time, reduce substance misuse and substance use disorder among adults by addressing the factors in a community that increase the risk of substance misuse and promoting the factors that minimize the risk of substance misuse.
 Source: SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002–2005 and 2014–2017.
The CAST Coalition began as a grassroots coalition in 2004 with two main goals: support prevention programs for youth and to connect with parents that were struggling to handle teen substance misuse. The Coalition started with a group of concerned parents and teens. In 2013, the Coalition became a committee of the Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley. Today, it has grown to be a local community support system comprised of dedicated community members with diverse backgrounds. Our primary focus is on empowering youth through leadership, service, and advocacy opportunities; supporting youth and families impacted by substance use disorder with the Children’s Resiliency Retreat Program; developing a support network for parents throughout their parenting journey, and collaborating with community leaders to build capacity in community wellness initiatives.
Public Health Crisis
NH is in the midst of a substance use and mental health crisis and it is important that
community members understand we all have a role to play in addressing this crisis. The economic impact to the State is over $2.36 billion and we have scarce resources in treatment providers. Prevention and recovery support is the most cost effective way to be fiscally responsible and meet the needs of our most vulnerable citizens. Being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a mental health crisis and/or a substance use disorder can mitigate harmful long-term health outcomes. Please join us in the fight to protect and support our youth and families! For information on how you can get involved contact Monica Gallant at firstname.lastname@example.org | 603-672-1002 ext. 123 or Shana Karlstrand at email@example.com.| 603-672-1002 ext. 118.
CAST Quick LinksOur Goals
We believe it takes a village to create a healthy community and connect people to the support systems they need. To see a list of resources offered by community partners and local organizations, click below.
Children's Resiliency Retreat
Once a month, we hold the Children’s Resiliency Retreat, otherwise known as Camp Serenity, to work with kids impacted by the addiction of a loved one and help teach them how to cope.
Reaching for our Goals
From the YES Team to Positive Action, our programs all link back to our main mission of preventing substance misuse, promoting healthy lifestyles, and educating and supporting our kids.
The CAST Youth Empowerment and Service team (YES team) is a youth driven service group focused on reducing drug misuse among their peers and reducing stigma around mental illness. They have worked hard on a number of projects including youth summits, HOPE Festivals, and much more. The YES Team is open to grades 6 and up and meets on Mondays at the Club. We are always looking for new team members!
Positive Action is a social emotional curriculum that is being offered to all summer camp attendees this year, and that helps kids learn how to navigate some of the more difficult situations in life with a positive, well rounded attitude. This program promotes problem solving, good leadership and healthy communication skills. Positive Action is offered during the school year for grades K-12 at the BGCSV.