alcohol

Youth-led Health Promotion

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cypnow article-cuppaReading through the latest issue of Children & Young People Now, an article caught my eye.

The ‘Skills for the job’ section talks about the need for youth organisations to “actively involve young people in developing policies for a healthy lifestyle”.

So why is this important?

Well as we know, for years, health education in schools has taken a scaremongering approach telling young people what not to do and the risks of doing it. Read the rest of this entry »

Healthy Selfie Campaign is a Winner for Ridgewood

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Enterprising students at Ridgewood High School have won a national competition and £500 worth of high street vouchers.

The Stourbridge school’s ‘Healthy Selfie’ campaign beat finalists from Salford, Swindon and Buckinghamshire to take first prize in the inaugural health promotion competition.

Nine Dudley schools took part in The R U Different? (www.rudifferent.co.uk) programme, which promotes the positive social norms that were recorded by students in an anonymous survey.

The programme aims to reflect back the positive choices of young people to address these misperceptions uncovered.

By doing so, the approach is proven to reduce peer pressure, build greater resilience and help young people make a more informed choice about which behaviours to follow.

In Dudley for example, the survey found that 9 out of 10 Year 9’s rarely or never drink alcohol at all, against a perception that 1 in 2 are drinking frequently.

Provided with these statistics, students in Ridgewood were invited to come up with ideas on how the media could be used to portray young people in a more positive and realistic way.

Their campaign was highly commended in the way it combined social media, peer influence and positive messaging in such a visual, eye catching way.

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Ridgewood High students show off their Healthy Selfie campaign along with Headteacher Mr Clive Nutting and PSHCE Teacher Mrs Nav Gill

Read the rest of this entry »

Smoking and Drinking Behaviours are Improving

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With 207,000 11-15 year olds estimated to take up smoking and around 80% of under 18 smokers continuing to smoke throughout adulthood, helping young people to better understand risks and norms continues to be an important marker in terms of risk taking and health. Read the rest of this entry »

Young People Must Lead the Change

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Viv Bennett, the Department of Health’s Director of Nursing, recently posted a great blog on how consulting with young people makes for more effective Public Health messages.

Titled “Nothing about us without us”, she comments on how “listening to children and young people is core to PHE and Department of Health values”. For 5 years now that is exactly what we have been doing with our R U Different? programme which uncovers real attitudes and perceptions of young people on numerous topics including tobacco, alcohol, sex & relationships and drugs. Schools can then use this information as a framework for PHSE lessons whilst ticking all important Ofsted boxes. Read the rest of this entry »

#Neknomination – Just a bit of fun?

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Gone are the days of passing on a chain email to 12 friends or risk never finding your true love – another online trend is well under way and it’s currently unavoidable on social media. ’Neknomination’ – the online drinking game popular with students that is sweeping the nation (and world) and most recently making the news for less than fun reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

Teen Drinking Rates Falling Significantly

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The Rise of the Young Non-Drinkers

The BBC has once again confirmed today what we all already knew – that drinking rates among young people are in sharp decline. Read the rest of this entry »

Stop Shouting! There’s a Better Way

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Those of you who work directly with young people will know that the direct approach rarely works.  You can tell a teenager till you’re blue in the face that risk taking behaviours are a very bad idea, but he won’t hear you, even while he nods and smiles. Read the rest of this entry »