Photo courtesy of MIYFS Facebook
                                Mercer Island Youth and Family Services received a 4-yer grant prevention grant from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.

Photo courtesy of MIYFS Facebook Mercer Island Youth and Family Services received a 4-yer grant prevention grant from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.

MIYFS receives 4-year prevention grant

The $48,500 per year will be used for the ongoing work to reduce binge and heavy-drinking rate of Island Youth.

The Mercer Island Youth and Family Services (MIYFS) Department recently received a four-year alcohol abuse prevention grant.

The grant of $48,500 per year will be used in ongoing work to reduce the binge drinking and heavy-drinking rate of Island youth.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) awarded MIYFS the Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act (STOP) grant in June. MIYFS was one of the 22 coalitions across the country to receive the STOP grant.

Derek Franklin, senior programs manager and clinical supervisor, said the grant’s focus is on prevention of underage alcohol use.

“The grant will give us the opportunity to ramp back up some underage alcohol prevention,” Franklin said. “Although underage drinking has reduced significantly in the past 15 years, our youth are [still] binge drinking. They’re drinking more than four to five drinks in a single episode. Island youth are binge drinking more than some of their peers statewide.”

Results from a 2012 survey showed that underage alcohol use among Mercer Island High School 12th-grade students had declined. Data suggested that 30-day alcohol use among seniors had decreased to the lowest rate in more than a decade — about 45 percent down from a high of almost 60 percent in 2000. The 2018 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey showed that past 30-day alcohol use also had dropped — down from 41 percent to 28 percent. Franklin said compared to the state, Island numbers are still high and they have a lot of work to do.

According to research done by Dr. Suniya Luthar, youth in affluent communities are more at risk for underage alcohol and other drug involvement. Dr. Luthar’s work identifies the family, peer and school factors most strongly predict the adverse outcomes.

“It’s stress and anxiety, as well as depression that is linked to underage drinking,” Franklin said. “Our kids, in particular, have anxiety due to performance pressure — pressure to succeed academically and financially. It comes from kids themselves, parents and from a perceived norm and culture on the Island of needing to do well academically and financially.”

With the funds, Franklin said the Mercer Island Healthy Youth Initiative will expand and enhance current capacity, and undertake additional social norms media work to target past-30-day alcohol use, perception of risk and harm related alcohol use, and perception of parent and peer disapproval of underage alcohol.

Funding begins by the end of September.

To learn more go online to


More in News

If passed, Senate Bill 6254 would limit the nicotine concentration of vape products, ban certain flavoring chemicals and require vape manufacturers, distributors and retailers to obtain licenses from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. File photo
Lawmakers propose sweeping regulations for vaping industry

Bill supporters cite concerns over health issues and teen use.

Alan Roach and his dog, Roxie, reunited in their new apartment. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Al’s new apartment, a community effort

Mercer Islanders give housewares, furniture to formerly homeless man and his dog.

Courtesy photo
                                Elliot Newman (left) receives his MIYFS Family Inspirational Award from Mayor Wong on Jan. 7.
Elliot Newman receives 2019 Flash Family Inspirational Award

It was standing room only at the Jan. 7 city council meeting when Newman received his award.

A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants in Washington state to complete a safety course. File photo
Democrats seek firearm training requirement for concealed carriers

Republican senator calls proposal ‘unconstitutional.’

Snohomish County man is first U.S. case of new coronavirus

A man in his 30s was hospitalized in Everett after contracting the virus during a trip to China.

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17 at the state Capitol in Olympia. Marshall condemned Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, which expelled Rep. Matt Shea from the Republican Caucus. Marshall announced his candidacy for the 2nd District seat held by House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service
Gun rights advocates rally at Capitol

Criticism levied at Matt Shea investigation, Republican leadership.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (center) announced a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in a press conference Jan. 2. Debbie Warfield of Everett (left) lost her son to a heroin overdose in 2012. Skagit County Commissioner Lisa Janicki (right) lost her son to an overdose of OxyContin in 2017. They are joined by Rep. Lauren Davis of Shoreline (second from right), founder of the Washington Recovery Alliance. (TVW screenshot)
AG Bob Ferguson talks lawsuits, gun control

Washington state Attorney General stopped by Sound Publishing’s Kirkland office.

Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, the primary sponsor of SB 5323, speaking on the bill. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Sabio-Howell)
Proposed law adds a fee to plastic bags at checkout

Senate passes bill to ban single-use plastic bags, place 8-cent fee on reusable plastic bags.

Development has encroached on the East Lake Sammamish Trail (at right). Joe Livarchik/file photo
King County files lawsuit to finish East Lake Sammamish Trail

Homeowners have until September to remove buildings and other property from the right of way.

Most Read