Tackling Youth Substance Abuse Initiative (TYSA)

Collective Impact Initiative for Health

Tackling Youth Substance Abuse Initiative (TYSA)

A young girl making a difference

What is Staten Island’s Tackling Youth Substance Abuse Initiative?

The Tackling Youth Substance Abuse (TYSA) Initiative is a cross-sector coalition aimed at driving major improvements in youth substance abuse in Staten Island, with the ultimate goals of decreased use of alcohol and prescription drugs and youth making healthy choices overall. The Staten Island Foundation has supported this initiative from its creation. TYSA is not intended to be a new “program” nor an attempt to compete with any of our community’s noteworthy community health initiatives.  Our aim is for this substance abuse initiative to build strong public awareness of the urgent need to tackle youth substance abuse, help to better align current efforts and fill necessary gaps, and create a strong strategic framework for improved collective impact.


Staten Island has the highest proportion of youth who binge drink in NYC, with 37.3% of Staten Island youth having consumed at least one drink of alcohol in the past 30 days. Staten Island also has the highest proportion of youth who have ever used a prescription pain reliever without a prescription in NYC. The effects of youth substance abuse are devastating for our youth, parents, families, and community.  The need for action is urgent.  The well-being and future of our community is at stake.

Who is Involved?

Many individuals, organizations and agencies from across the community, as well as the city and the state, have already joined in the effort to work toward a common vision and set of goals towards decreasing youth substance abuse in Staten Island. Involvement spans city and state agencies, treatment providers, prevention providers, youth development organizations, pharmacies, law enforcement, education, hospitals and other medical professionals, philanthropy, and more. TYSA is led by a Steering Committee of non-profit, for-profit, and government organizations, agencies, and individuals that share the goal of dramatically decreasing use of alcohol and prescription drugs by Staten Island youth. Steering Committee members believe we can improve our collective impact if we work off a common strategic framework and effectively engage our communities, parents, youth and a broad array of nonprofits, government agencies, and civic organizations in this effort.

What is the Timeline?

This effort began in early 2011 when Take Care Staten Island, the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness, and the Staten Island Foundation convened people interested in tackling community health issues together. Planning work began in earnest in early Summer 2011.  A high-level strategic framework was adopted in November 2011, including a common agenda with problem data, goals, and indicators, and a blueprint for implementation covering organizational structures and processes to transform the plan into action. TYSA Project Director Adrienne Abbate came on board in 2012 and has led in-depth action planning through workgroups to develop detailed strategies and related performance measures, also generously supported by The Staten Island Foundation. Work has begun to turn to supporting implementation by players operating at the community, borough, city, and state levels.  Results will be measured using a common set of metrics.  Progress will hinge on strong community engagement and on our ability to foster innovation and effective collaboration across the substance abuse and community health continuum.

To learn what TYSA has accomplished since it began in 2011, click here.

How Do I Get More Information or Get Involved?

You can visit www.sipcw.org/tysa.htm or contact Director, Adrienne Abbate at Adrienne@sipcw.org. (Photo by Patricia Boustamy)