What is OCCHY?

OCCHY stands for Orthodox Christian Coalition for Healthy Youth. This youth initiative is a national effort to strengthen our Orthodox Christian youth and the people who surround them. Under the supervision of Metropolitan JOSEPH, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, and that of the leadership of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries, OCCHY works with Antiochian Orthodox Christian parishes to develop local coalitions to serve the geographic area of each parish and each diocese.

Since Congress enacted the Drug Free Communities program (DFC) in 1997, Federal grants have been provided on a competitive basis (through SAMHSA) to community-based coalitions serving as facilitators to reduce substance use and abuse.

Parishes may choose to apply for a Federal Grant or develop a community-based initiative organized and funded/volunteered by their local parish or diocese.


Address factors that increase the dangers associated with underage drinking, binge drinking, prescription medication abuse, tobacco use, illegal drug use, and other substance use and abuse.

Establish and maintain collaborative efforts among community members within local, state, government and non-profit agencies to address the issues of drug use and actively work to reduce problems associated with substance abuse.
In addition, Orthodox Christian Coalitions:

  • Address Righteous Living
  • Promote Healthy Sexuality
  • Address the Issue of Bullying
  • Dialogue on Mental Health Awareness
  • Encourage Respect for the Sanctity of the Human Body
  • Work to Build Strong Leaders in Body, Mind and Spirit

Orthodox Christian Coalitions interested in DFC funding must engage at least one member from each of the following 12 sectors:

  • Youth (SOYO member)
  • Youth-serving organizations (SOYO advisor)
  • Parents
  • Media
  • Business community
  • Schools
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Religious organizations
  • Civic groups (Order of St. Ignatius)
  • Healthcare professionals
  • State or local agencies in the field of substance abuse
  • Other organizations involved in reducing substance abuse