Mental Health Bureau re-awards JSU’s Community Prevention Coalition $304,488 to curb substance abuse

(JACKSON, Miss.) — Metro Jackson Community Prevention Coalition has been re-awarded $304,488 in funding from the Department of Mental Health Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Services for the fiscal year of 2020-2021. The grant provides evidence-based substance abuse prevention services to local schools, colleges and the community.

Henry C. Thompson Jr.

“I have been working in the field of prevention for seven years, and it has been a true blessing to educate our youth and community about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs,” said Henry C. Thompson Jr., director and principal investigator.

Metro Jackson serves K-12, college, community, elderly and parent populations. Thompson shared that some funds already have been used to provide life skills training at the West Jackson Community Development Center.

“We have been working virtually with young adults who are attempting to get their GED. We educate them on how to communicate effectively, make good decisions, the myths and realities of smoking and drinking, managing anxiety, anger management and job skills,” he said.

Metro Jackson also has been offering virtual training at Lanier and Jim Hill High Schools, including Walton Elementary School.

During Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23-31, Metro Jackson is hosting a virtual spoken word contest for JSU students. Also, there will be a poster contest for elementary and high school students. The theme for each contest is “drug and alcohol prevention.” There will be first-, second- and third-place winners.

Red Ribbon Week is the largest drug-abuse prevention campaign in the nation. During this time, Thompson encourages people to wear red to lend their support.

JSU students also can receive virtual community service hours by participating in the spoken word competition. For more information on both contests, contact Pamela D. McCoy, senior prevention specialist, at

“I would also like to add that I work with a great team,” Thompson said. “It really takes a village to do all that we do, and I believe we have that.”