​April 1-8, 8-15

  • You Are Not Alone4:43

As part of our mission and vision, the harris project recently introduced the innovative CODA (Co-Occurring Disorders Awareness) prevention program, a student driven effort to change the conversation about COD and empower young people to transform the way society perceives and manages mental health and substance misuse/addiction. 

CODA goals include:

  • increased awareness and understanding of co-occurring disorders for youth;
  • increased early intervention for mental health challenges and substance misuse leading to a decline in incidence of youth mental health crises, drug misuse, addiction and overdose;
  • increased likelihood that those already impacted by co-occurring disorders will seek help (schools are noting an uptick in students reaching out);
  • raising a generation without the stigma typically associated with mental health challenges/substance misuse; and,creating youth leaders who can impact their peers/communities

CODA empowers students to:

  • Talk about the relationship between mental health/wellness and substance misuse/addiction
  • Educate school communities about co-occurring disorders through presentations, guest speakers,and panels
  • Support the “Go GREEN” campaign as part of Co-Occurring Disorders Awareness Week
  • Offer Youth Mental Health First Aid training
  • Partner with other organizations and clubs
  • Advocate for change through meetings with legislators
  • Participate in CODA Youth Leadership Summits

The following high schools are taking part in this new initiative: Briarcliff, Greenwich, Harrison, Hendrick Hudson, Irvington, John Jay, Lakeland, New Rochelle, Walter Panas, Pleasantville, Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES, Somers, Southern Westchester BOCES, Yorktown; St. Christopher’s Inc.- Clarke Academy.  These schools are marking the first annual CODA Week with a variety of youth-led activities ranging from: announcements over the schools public address system; display tables set up in the cafeteria with wrist bands, t-shirts, and other awareness materials; posting pictures in the school of celebrities who have publically discussed their CODA challenges; displaying messages of encouragement and compassion on school doors, walls; and ceilings; holding a "mocktail party" for students to be able to have fun without alcohol; holding class and assembly presentations with outside speakers, and many other activities to engage student involvement and raise awareness as well as other activities.

By all accounts the inaugural CODA Week held April 1-8, 2017 was a resounding success.  The reaction from school administration, staff, students, parents, and community members has been incredible.  Special thanks to Dr. Mark Herceg and the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health for their support; Ellen Moorehouse Executive Director and Student Assistance Services Inc. for their partnership; and, all of the school districts involved for being part of the creation of a movement! The Lakeland School District graciously allowed a News Event to take place at Lakeland High School on Friday, April 7th.  Special thanks to Principal Chris Cummings, the CODA Advisors, and the students who participated!

CODA Anthem - created by "Q" at student  

at PNW BOCES Fox Meadow HS

Photos from across Westchester County and Greenwich, CT from CODA Week 2017: