Podcast: SRSLY – youth take charge in tackling substance abuse

AHA News

Project Sticker Shock takes place every October in Chelsea, Mich., to coincide with the high school’s homecoming week.

Students and adult volunteers visit local alcohol retailers with bright green stickers warning about the penalties of supplying alcohol to minors. With the retailers’ permission, they place stickers on alcohol bottles, store shelf hangs and the cashier’s shirt. Project sponsors say it helps keep alcohol away from minors and builds good relationships with local retailers.

It’s one way SRSLY (text language for seriously) takes its anti-substance abuse message to kids ages 10 to 15 and their families in this small town of about 5,000 people. The program was formed in 2008 after St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea Community Hospital conducted a community health survey that identified youth substance abuse as a serious concern. Today, the SRSLY coalition includes the hospital, middle school and high school children ages 10 and older, school coaches and teachers, librarians, police officers, pastors and business owners.

The coalition emphasizes youth leadership in community projects and fun activities, says Reiley Curran, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea Community Hospital’s director of community health improvement and the woman who heads the SRSLY coalition. “We call ourselves SRSLY, but we try not to take ourselves too seriously.” she says. “We want to find fun ways of focusing on all the positive things that youth are doing in our community.”

To listen to a brief audio podcast with Curran as she shares advice for other hospitals looking to address issues of youth substance abuse in their communities, click here

Topic: Community Health
Tag: Community Connections

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