In January 2016, coalition development began with the Orcas Island School District Superintendent and the Student and Family Empowerment Advocate. The initial focus was to review and analyze the Healthy Youth Survey 2014 data and then prepare the findings to share with a community workgroup. These efforts were supported by San Juan County Human Services.
The Healthy Youth Survey Work Group was formed in April 2016. This workgroup met to review and analyze data provided by Orcas Island Public Middle and High School students in the Healthy Youth Survey. The analyses focused on identifying trends in perceptions and behavior amongst Orcas youth, and used the potential for creating a community coalition to address youth substance use and mental health concerns.
The workgroup formalized a Call to Action in August 2016 to build a community prevention coalition to address youth substance abuse, mental health promotion, and suicide.
The Coalition for Orcas Youth (COY), a community prevention coalition was established in 2018.
COY is supported by the fiscal agent Funhouse Commons, community volunteers, and organizations across San Juan County. COY is funded by a federal Drug-Free Communities grant.