Engaging Youth in Prevention Advocacy
Straight Up is a Ventura County, California youth development project for ages 12-25 that promotes social change regarding underage and binge drinking, impaired driving, marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, HIV/AIDS prevention, and other concerns using improvisation and interactive techniques to engage discussion, explore issues, and develop personal and community solutions to these issues.
Straight Up is made possible through funding from Ventura County Behavioral Health Department, Alcohol and Drug Programs.
Our activities include:
- A range of options for interactive classroom workshops
- Youth leadership development and spokesperson training
- Reality Parties for Parents – After seeing teen actors portray scenes from a simulated drinking party and voice their concerns about trends in youth alcohol use, parents explore what adults can do to make a difference and keep their kids safe
- Community assessments – Identifying problems & potential solutions
- Guidance and support for planning & implementing your own prevention projects
- Training in Reality Improv and social change theatre techniques
- Video production – Webcasts & public service announcements
- Community discussion through the Straight Up blog
- Straight Up audio podcast
May 2015: Community Partner Award for Outstanding Partnership, Center for Community Engagement, Cal State University, Channel Islands
September 2012: Winner of CAPS-TV Cappie Award for “Be the DD Recruitment Video”
January 2011: Certificate of Appreciation from The Links, Incorporated (Channel Islands Chapter) for participation in the Youth Summit at CLU
October 2010: Certification of Recognition from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for participation in the 2010 Town Hall Meetings on Underage Drinking Prevention
April 2010: Palmer Drug Abuse Program honor
April 2010: Certificate of recognition and congratulation from the Mayor and City Council of the City of San Buenaventura
June 2009: Certificate of Appreciation from the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department’s Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board
March 2009: Honorary Service Award from California Congress of Parents, Teachers, and Students, Inc. (PTA)
March 2009: Certificates of acknowledgment from several members of the U.S. House of Representatives and California’s Senate and Legislature Assembly
Blog, Events and Social Media
If you haven't visited mjfactcheck.org for the latest up to date findings on the effects of marijuana on your mental and physical well-being, you're missing out. With the push for legalization on the rise, many side effects of the drug are either ignored or swept under the rug. Mjfactcheck.org examines the latest statistics
"Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health
If you've been to our Reality Parties for Parents, you're no stranger to the fact that teen drinking culture is a tad outta control - And hopefully the health panel and local PD offered some handy solutions and tips for communicating with your community members and teenagers.
But we're always hungry
The future looks bright! While substance abuse of course remains an issue, trends are down and prevention actions are up.
Use and Trends
This year’s Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of drug use and attitudes among American 8th, 10th, and 12th graders is encouraging, with past-year use of illicit drugs other than
*This post was written by a Ventura County young adult.
How was I lucky enough to be hanging out with the most popular guys at school? I was at a friend's house when his older brother came home with buddies, including a senior that I and every girl at school crushed