During the final Westat site visit, the Union City project team noted the critical impact of its outreach and social marketing efforts. The CRRI tasks during implementation included the development of marketing information, staffing the screening sites, and working with other organizations to conduct outreach and screening. These outreach and screening activities focused on prevention for both mental health and substance use issues and promotion of help-seeking behaviors. During outreach and screening it was very useful to work within general primary care sites. Screening and outreach extended throughout the community and included sites such as WIC and TANF offices, city hall, health clinics, veterans and homeless shelters.
Outreach efforts also included a community-wide distribution of outreach materials. Flyers went to every household in town; bilingual posters were placed at bus stops and businesses; and project staff created brochures and a video. The development of marketing materials was conducted carefully to include Spanish-language versions. Outreach staff identified creative ways for spreading the word about the project at the local level in store front businesses and places where people congregate. Specific attention was given to reaching lower income and undocumented populations by visiting laundromats and conducting outreach in other non-traditional screening settings. Brochures were also shared throughout the PTA in schools. Other media channels, like radio and newspapers, were also used but staff felt the face-to-face outreach was best. Screening at health centers also was noted as an excellent location.
The early focus of this project was on community outreach and prevention of substance use and mental health issues and included a targeted effort on adolescents. As the project evolved, a greater focus was placed on the need to provide employment strategies.