By Derek Sullivan, CCPRD Project Associate
This year, the Substance Use Prevention Team at Kenneth Young Center is making the move to a new favorite social media platform: TikTok!
This April, we will be releasing a series of TikTok videos as a follow up to National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) Drug & Fact Week, highlighting healthy and fun alternative activities for youth to engage in to promote drug-free lifestyles, mental wellness, and encourage self-care. We recognize that it is vital for youth to have various outlets and healthy coping strategies, along with knowing the facts about substance misuse, in order to stay substance-free and away from potential unhealthy coping strategies.
That is why we are launching our Healthy Alternative TikTok (@selfhelpseries) - a series of step-by-step instructional videos teaching youth new and creative hobbies/activities to engage in at home. One of our goals is to spread what brings us joy, and teach others how to join in!
An important step in youth substance use prevention is to build youths' peer refusal strategies in order to strengthen their abilities to say “no” with confidence. Some peer refusal strategies include: suggesting a healthy alternative, walking away from the situation, stating the facts/consequences that will result from the activity, or simply steering clear from any trouble they may foresee. In this series, Kenneth Young Center would like to promote and encourage healthy alternative activities youth can do with their friends.
While youth may have a tool belt full of coping strategies they used before the pandemic, we recognize that their accessibility to some of their hobbies and brave spaces may not be available at this moment. While socialization and playing with friends has been youth’s #1 form of self-care and fun in the past, a majority of teens are now stuck sitting at home, struggling to find ways to keep busy and be entertained. With levels of depression, anxiety, and stress on the rise, it is crucial to focus on the mental health and wellbeing of our youth in order to ensure their health and safety.
In response to the pandemic, this series will provide safe, healthy, and fun alternate activities geared towards 12-18-year-olds that follow CDC COVID-19 guidelines and are free or affordable to youth. These videos will share what activities our staff in the Community Collaboration Division at Kenneth Young Center, as well as the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) members, do for self-care. While these activities are created in response to youth substance use prevention, they can be utilized by anyone and everyone! The main goal is to emphasize fun and creativity right in their own homes, encourage them to take time for things that bring them joy, and provide a sense of relief from the world around them.
Follow our TikTok Account: @SelfHelpSeries!
Are youth you know struggling? Visit our CPYD Resource Guides.
My Generation RX: Tips & Advice [PDF]. (n.d.). GenerationRX. https://generationrx.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/7.-Tips_Advice.pdf
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