Although Partnership Carson City has been in operation since 2009, there’s still some confusion in the community as to what it actually does.
And it’s understandable, said Director Kathy Bartosz, because of the wide range of services offered.
“We are a coalition whose main objective is to get all the partnerships working together to help our community thrive,” she said. “We promote especially safety and wellness.”
The partnership was born out a need to address the growing epidemic of methamphetamine use at the time.
It grew as part of the Community Council on Youth, which later morphed into Partnership Carson City. As such, perhaps its best-known function remains drug abuse prevention and education.
“We really put a lot of effort into developing community awareness and campaigns on substance abuse,” Bartosz said. “It includes everything from energy drinks to synthetic drugs.”
However, the organization is involved with much more.
“We’ve really kept with that same intent, but we’re now dealing with a lot of different issues in the community. We bring federal and state funding to dispense to nonprofit services,” Bartosz said. “That includes the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada, Ron Wood Family Resource Center, the Salvation Army and United Latino Community.”
She said the partnership is also doing more to address mental health.
“We’re getting involved in the connection between mental health and substance abuse,” she said.
As they provide training in signs of drug abuse, Bartosz said, the partnership is also working to provide mental health first aid.
“We’re helping people to become more cognizant of others and how to identify if they may be in despair or trouble and how to get them help,” she said. “The more people you have trained, the more likely you are to save a life.”