The Seaway Valley Prevention Council has provided valuable services to the community since 1987. Agency programs provide quality prevention, community, and recovery services for residents of St. Lawrence County and beyond. Educators work with youth, parents, families, and local decision-makers to empower them to make positive changes in their lives and engage in their local communities to make long-lasting changes.
So, how did it all start?
In the fall of 1987, a group of residents saw the need for prevention services in St. Lawrence County. As a result, the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council of St. Lawrence County was founded, with those committed residents becoming the first Board of Directors. The Council opened its doors in Potsdam, NY, with seven staff members. The original mission of the agency was:
“to inform the public about the disease of alcoholism and substance abuse through information and education, to promote early treatment and rehabilitation of persons with drinking problems and substance abuse problems, their families and their children, to increase public awareness of alcoholism, to advocate and develop essential services for the treatment and prevention of substance abuse, to provide consultation services to interested persons and community leaders.”
Three years later, in 1990, the Council relocated to Canton, NY, and in 1994 the name was changed to the Seaway Valley Council for Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Prevention, Inc., d.b.a. Seaway Valley Prevention Council. In those first years, the agency’s primary focus was to provide quality prevention education for students in the County.
Then, in 2005 the agency underwent a strategic planning process and adopted a new mission:
“improving the future of our community through quality prevention services.”
In 2010 the agency relocated once more to Ogdensburg, NY, after outgrowing the Canton office. The agency has grown from its original size of seven to more than twenty.
In the agency’s more than thirty years of operation, programs have ebbed and flowed, but the Council has always stayed true to its mission. While the agency’s focus was once seen as prevention education, today, the Council’s reach is much greater.
Educators today provide quality prevention, community, and recovery services for residents in St. Lawrence County and beyond. Through a combination of education, engagement, and mobilization, the Council strives to empower residents to become leaders of their own change. With programs designed to work with youth, parents, families, and local decision-makers, the Council aims to lead community-level change that fosters an environment for individuals to lead healthy lifestyles, as it means for them.