Through the years, prevention professionals have recognized that reducing risky behaviors is key to the development of strong, healthy kids. We know that several factors play a role in this including genetics, brain development, environment, nutrition and educational opportunities — but no one thing can control all of these variables. However, the more we can mitigate negative influences for a child, the better the chances will be for a healthy productive life.
The Commonwealth Prevention Alliance (CPA) has worked diligently over the last 45 years to provide prevention practitioners with the knowledge and programs that help create healthy individuals and productive communities. CPA continues this mission through the messaging and materials of PAStart and PAStop
PAStart is proud to introduce a new set of tool kits to assist parents, teachers, and other concerned adults in their efforts to reduce substance misuse in adolescents and teens. Each kit in the new Communication Action Series has been carefully designed to provide important information in short, simple steps. The nine new tool kits include:
- Vaping: The use of e-cigarettes to inhale various harmful substances has caused multiple health issues, yet companies continue to offer candy flavors and flashy packaging to attract young users. This tool kit offers straight facts and proven strategies to prevent vaping use.
- Alcohol: Still the number one substance of abuse for teens, this kit provides the conversation starters and practical suggestions to help them understand the consequences and dangers of alcohol use.
- Marijuana: Because marijuana has been legalized for medical use in many states, and for recreational use in a few, attitudes toward use have changed. However it is still harmful for young people and it still causes physical and mental problems when they use it. This kit provides accurate information to help prevent use.
- Mental Health: Prior to the COVID 19 pandemic, surveys indicated that emotional issues and other mental health problems were on the rise. After the beginning of the pandemic there was a further increase. This kit helps guide the conversation about this sensitive area to identify where help may be needed.
- Racial Equity – Prevention Professionals Edition This kit describes how prevention professionals can prepare their programs to be accessible to Black, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Latinx (BIPOC) youth.]
- Racial Equity – Black Parents Edition This kit helps parents start a conversation with their child about white supremacy and how to develop strategies to protect themselves.]
- Racial Equity – LATINX Parents Edition This kit helps parents start a conversation with their child about anti-Latinx bias and how to develop strategies to protect themselves
- LGBTQ+ – Prevention Professionals Edition This kit provides ways to visibly support LGBTQ+ youth in your prevention, the importance of using proper pronouns and community agreements that affirm all kids.
- LGBTQ+ – Parents Edition This kit provides resources and communication tips for parents of an LGBTQ+ youth. Family acceptance and support is the most important factor for a child’s health and well-being.
It is our hope that these mini-toolkits will help drive the conversations about these topics between parents and kids, and provide some answers to basic questions that may come up as well as offer insights and resources that will be helpful to furthering the discussions about these topics within the family structure.
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