Thriving Youth Programs

San Juan Basin Public Health believes that every person deserves to live a healthy, addiction-free life.

The Thriving Youth Programs work to reach that goal in La Plata and Archuleta counties through education, collaboration, and policy development which positively impacts community norms and empowers youth to make healthier choices and increase the number of developmental assets.


Population Health Director | 970 335 2067

Thriving Youth Coordinator | 970 335 2047


Communities That Care (CTC) guides communities through a proven five-phase change process that promotes positive youth development, improves outcomes and reduces problem behaviors among youth. CTC applies tested and effective strategies that increase resiliency so youth are less likely to engage in problem behaviors and more likely to live according to the clear standards for healthy behavior.

These strategies focus on creating a stronger sense of connectedness to their families, community and society. With the support of a dedicated CTC coordinator, this process empowers community members to take ownership for the long term health, safety and well-being of youth.

SJBPH is addressing the misconceptions around youth substance use in our community. Together with youth and youth-serving organizations we are spreading the message that youth are On The Rise!

Most La Plata and Archuleta County teens don’t drink alcohol or use drugs, but four out of five high school students greatly overestimate their classmates use of alcohol and drugs. The real numbers show that most teens are not using substances.

Archuleta On The Rise Fact Sheet
La Plata On The Rise Fact Sheet

SJBPH believes in supporting all aspects of a person’s health, including mental health. The Suicide Prevention program is working to decrease the rates of suicide mortality and attempts for all individuals in Archuleta, La Plata, and San Juan counties.

In Colorado, and around the world, tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death.  Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke kill almost 5,100 Coloradans each year.

San Juan Basin Public Health works to reduce tobacco initiation, use, and exposure to secondhand smoke by:

  • Assisting local organizations to implement and sustain tobacco free workplace policies
  • Providing cessation resources to local organizations and community members
  • Reducing exposure to secondhand smoke through education and policy development
  • Supporting local school districts on Tobacco Free Schools policies and education

If you or someone you know needs support to quit smoking, here are links to free resources available:

Tobacco-Free Policies

HPS works with schools, local government, employers, and property managers to establish smoke-free policies for the health and safety of all. Do you know which state and local laws protect our community?

Communities That Care

Communities That Care is currently looking for dedicated individuals to join in on a proven community change process aimed at improving the well-being of youth across La Plata County. Want to get involved or learn more?