What is a SEOW?
State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroups, or SEOWs, are groups of key data and prevention stakeholders that meet regularly to share data and create data-guided products that inform prevention policies.
The mission of the SEOW is two-fold:
- To bring substance abuse and related behavioral problems data to prevention planning
- To build state- and community-level monitoring systems
SEOW membership includes the following:
- Core members: substance abuse epidemiologist, SEOW coordinator, Single State Agency (SSA) prevention team
- State agency representatives (e.g., SSA, representatives from departments of health, mental health, education, justice, Veteran’s Administration)
- Community members (e.g., coalitions, task forces, regional coordinators, tribal councils)
- Identify, share, organize, and profile data from existing state and local sources
- Create data-guided products that inform prevention planning and policies
- Train communities in understanding, using, and presenting data in an effective manner
- Build state- and local-level monitoring and surveillance systems
- Products that organize, assess, and disseminate key substance abuse and related behavioral problems data in user-friendly formats, aimed at:
- Assessing prevention needs and informing state- and community-level prevention planning
- Raising awareness and building capacity to understand, use and present data
- SEOW products correspond to target audience needs. Products range from detailed reference guides for epidemiologists to user-friendly executive summaries for policy/decision makers.
- Key products include:
- SEOW Charter: Formal document that describes the SEOW's mission, tasks, and membership
- State Epidemiological Profile: Comprehensive reference guide of all key substance abuse (and shared risk and protective factor) data
- Community Epidemiological Profile: User-friendly fact sheet for communities
- Dissemination products geared towards communicating data priorities to policy makers
- Monitoring system to track/monitor key indicators and emerging priorities
SEOWs and SAMHSA Strategic Initiatives (SSIs)
- SSI1 – Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness
- SEOWs are primarily responsible for addressing SSI1 at the state and community levels
- SEOWs have been addressing substance abuse prevention under SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) since 2006 and extending the SPF to include behavioral health indicators for prevention planning since 2010
- SEOW products have incorporated sections on mental health and shared risk and protective factors
- Currently, SEOWs are:
- Enhancing state/community monitoring systems to include key behavioral health outcomes
- Training communities in using behavioral health data for prevention planning
- SSI 7 – Data, Outcomes and Quality. From the prevention standpoint, SEOWs continue to organize and profile key behavioral health outcomes data in high quality products
- SSI 8 – Public Awareness and Support. SEOWs support this initiative by disseminating informative, user-friendly products through media campaigns, online systems, and other dissemination efforts
- SSI 3 – Military Families and SSI 2 – Trauma and Justice. SEOWs support these initiatives by enhancing SEOW membership and assessing existing data for inclusion in products
Value Added, from a State/Tribe/Jurisdiction Perspective
- Enhanced collaboration and data sharing. SEOWs bring key state, community, and tribal organizations to the table to promote data sharing—for the very first time, in some regions!
- Enhanced prevention workforce and epidemiological capacity. SEOWs enhanced epidemiological capacity in every state, jurisdiction, and in several tribes by bringing the expertise of substance abuse epidemiologist/analysts to prevention planning. SEOW products and trainings have enhanced state/community capacity to understand and use data for prevention planning.
- Enhanced state/community/tribal data monitoring. SEOWs created real-time, Web-based data monitoring systems to monitor and track key priorities and emerging trends.
- Increased public awareness and support. SEOWs continue to disseminate key data/products to raise public awareness and support for substance abuse prevention data and planning.
Value Added, from a National Perspective
- Consistent application of substance abuse and related behavioral problems data to prevention planning and decision making
- Addressed SSI1 and other SAMHSA initiatives/priorities within a short time-frame
- Built monitoring and surveillance systems at the state and community levels to track emerging problems and monitor progress
- Trained communities to understand, use, and present data in a meaningful way
- Built learning communities to assess what programs, policies, and practices work, and continue to apply lessons learned while moving forward
How Do SEOWs Help SAMHSA’s Mission?
- Provide “biggest bang for the buck” by facilitating needs-based planning and resource allocation
- Create a framework to identify and address prevention needs and improve behavioral health in communities
- Enhance ability to track key behavioral health outcomes and emerging priorities at the state and community levels
- Enhance state and community infrastructure and capacity to implement data-guided prevention
- Provide access to programs, products and policies that worked in communities
What do Grantees Think?
"What we accomplished as a state during the SPF has been enhanced many times over with regional and state population data—now across multiple substances and populations" — New Hampshire
"Our SEOW brought about partnership with tribal epidemiological workgroups around developing strong tribal data sets and collection strategies" — New Mexico
"The work of the SEOW impacted our prevention system in dramatic ways. The state-level needs assessment was the most data-driven process I have ever been a part of" — Wyoming
"SEOW influenced the inclusion of extra module on binge drinking and drinking/driving in Montana’s [Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System]." — Montana
"Our governor launched a statewide underage drinking prevention initiative after reviewing our statewide epidemiological report" — Virginia