Tackling Risk Taking Behaviour and Getting Results

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“Results in Swindon show us that [R U Different?] can change perceptions and behaviours and, later on in life, when these young people aren’t smoking and aren’t drinking to excess, they will have better health outcomes.”
Cherry Jones, Acting Director of Public Health, Swindon Borough Council

There aren’t many projects connected to Risky Behaviours that can be proven to be measurably effective, but increasingly this is what every local authority and school really needs – and wants.

R U Different? is exactly this, a low cost, highly effective, evidence based programme that delivers the results you want – and it’s really easy to get involved.

Take for example our work in Swindon. We know that young people feel safest when part of the crowd, even when some of that crowd is demonstrating visibly risky behaviours. However, we also know that what young people say, and what they actually do, can be two very different things.

By discovering the firm held perceptions of peer behaviours by young people aged 13-15, and then demonstrating the more positive reality – through methods that resonate with them – we can change perception and influence behaviour.

We discovered that while in reality 9 out of ten students never smoke, the perception held was that 1 in 2 do smoke. Focussing on this value allowed one school to change perceptions around smoking to a belief that 7 out of 10 are NOT smoking.

At one school 50% of students have at least one sweet drink a day, but believed that just 11% did the same. The school is now able to focus efforts on healthy eating using this resource.

In one school we achieved a 36% shift in the number of young people who said that they had been drunk in the last week.

But don’t just take our word for it…see what the Public Health team, students and residents of Swindon have to say in this short video.

Would you like to learn more about how you can make change through effective prevention rather than expensive cure?

For more information about R U Different? and our approach to influencing healthy decisions in young people, contact gary@social-sense.co.uk

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