Project CURE Childhood Cancer – 09/15/18 – 09/19/18
Members of Teens for Healthy Youth, the youth coalition of LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth, created awareness for September National Childhood Cancer Awareness month by educating their peers on childhood cancer through yards signs, morning announcements, and peer to peer education. THY made their own Cure Childhood Cancer Ribbon magnets and sold magnets before school and during lunch to their classmates, teachers, administrators, and support staff with the support from the school resource officer. Ribbons were posted throughout the school on doorways, windows, and lockers. The students collected over $300 to donate to CureChildhoodCancer.org in honor of peer who recently passed away from childhood cancer. Parents were also made aware of the event via parent newsletter and school website. THY hopes this project will create an awareness of THY and their dedication to promoting positive teen health.
CADCA Mid-Year Training in Orlando, FL – 06/16/18-06/19/18
LCAHY sent five teens from their youth coalition, Teens for Healthy Youth (THY), to the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) training conference in Orlando, Florida this summer. Teens for Healthy Youth is dedicating to promoting positive teen health through leadership, service, and peer to peer education. At the conference the youth were tasked with identifying a problem in their community they would like to address, and they chose juuling because juuling has increased in all area schools. Using the strategic prevention framework THY members produced a plan to combat the use of juuls in their schools and presented their action plan. The youth met with teens from coalitions across the country and shared ideas. The youth will share their action plan with the LCAHY Board during an upcoming board meeting and their ideas will be used during future planning. The youth will also be responsible for taking the knowledge of strategic planning back to their respective Teens for Healthy Youth groups to help plan projects throughout the school year. These youth will serve as leaders in their schools.
Reclaim 4/20 – 04/20/2018
Teens for Healthy Youth (THY) reclaimed 4/20 as a day of positive teen health and rejected teen use of marijuana. THY educated their peers on the risks of marijuana use to increase perception of harm of marijuana and prevent impaired driving during prom, graduation, and the summer months. Students engaged in peer to peer education by creating yard sign size myth and fact cards on marijuana that were posted in the school entrance and distributed fact cards with myths and facts to individuals. The fact cards provided data on mental health risks association with marijuana use, impaired driving statistics, and the impact on learning for the teenage brain. LCAHY collaborated with the Bluffton Police Department and a local car dealership to stage a scene entitled, “What kind of car do you want to drive in on prom night?”, which featured a Mercedes and an ambulance. Students signed a banner, pledging to remain sober. A school assembly including 500 students and their teachers, featured a DEA officer that provided information regarding the laws and consequences of use or possession of marijuana or alcohol. A local attorney gave the facts on laws that impact teenagers, like the negative consequences of having a record related to use of marijuana or underage drinking as it pertains to driving record, car insurance, and their future careers. In addition, a law expert provided students with knowledge on the laws related to social media and underage drinking, use of illegal drugs, and other risky behaviors.
Peer to Peer Drug Fact Trivia – 04/02/2018
Teens for Healthy Youth (THY) of the LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY) presented National Drug Fact Trivia from NIDA to middle school students. The goal was to inform students about the risks and trends related to use of marijuana, alcohol, prescription pills, and vaping. National data shows that as students move from middle to high school use of drugs and alcohol increases. THY hope to decrease the number of 8th grade students that use drugs as they transition from middle school to high school by increasing the perception of harm of these drugs and by making it clear that many high school students choose not use drugs. Ten THY teens educated 175 middle school students in small groups. The school administrators and teachers reported that the students were very engaged in learning and that the peer educators were effective. THY was invited to return to educate the middle schoolers, with an additional goal of developing positive relationships with the students. This pilot run illustrates to the coalition that peer to peer education by high school students to middle school students is effective and plans are in place to establish peer to peer education through all youth councils in coalition.
Community Opiod Forum – 01/29/2018
LowCountry Alliance for Healthy Youth (LCAHY) hosted a Community Forum about the Opioid Crisis. Speakers included the county coroner, a state representative of the Opioid Legislative Prevention/ Education committee, an addictionologist, and a clinical psychologist. Speakers addressed the causes of the crisis, nation-wide and local trends, SC legislation, the impact on the developing teenage brain, and how to reduce the use of opioids. Teens for Healthy Youth addressed the twelve sectors of the community issuing a call to action to combat the opioid crisis. One-hundred and eighty community members attended, including public officials, and local TV stations. The audience took a Prescription Pain Medication Survey designed by the coalition consultant and found that 82% learned more about the opioid crisis and the associated problems and 88% planned to share the material with others. Also, 64% of adults reported that their physicians did not talk to them about opioid use and abuse, and 71% said if their child was prescribed pain medication, the doctors did not speak with them about the potential for abuse. When asked how children or teens accessed prescription pain medication not prescribed to them, 48% perceived it was accessed from a family medicine cabinet while 43% perceived it came from friends. The data shows a need to educate adult and youth about safe medication storage and to educate doctors about informing patients of the dangers of opioid use and abuse.