PREVIOUS TALKS - RECORDINGS
Do not miss any of APSI's PREVENTION TALKS. In this space you will get access to all the recorded sessions.
TALK # 3 - PROVIDING FAMILY-BASED PREVENTION DURING COVID-19
Family life all over the world has dramatically changed over the past several months as we all have faced the COVID-19 pandemic. As families are the most important proximal influence on the health and well-being of children and youth, the stress of changing family structures and interactions has the potential of profoundly influencing the behavioral choices that youth make, specifically, as to whether to use substances or engage in risky behaviors. Parents are struggling to work from home while caring for and homeschooling children; and many are facing job loss or job insecurity or food insecurity. At the same time, children and youth face their own struggles as they are missing out being in school with their peers and experiencing those transitions or “rites of passage” that are very important to their social and emotional development. Family-based prevention interventions have demonstrated effectiveness with a strong level of evidence to address substance use in the family by providing and building parenting skills to raise and nurture children so that they are resilient and display prosocial behavior. But, in the midst of the pandemic and with these new added stresses, how can these programs reach parents with COVID-19 protective approaches—e.g., through virtual platforms? What can prevention professionals do to reach out to parents, acknowledge and address these new circumstances, and provide these very necessary parenting skills? What new skills and practices can help them face the challenges wrought by the global pandemic? Please join us for this Prevention Talk, where Douglas Coatsworth, PhD (Betsey R. Bush Endowed Professor in Behavioral Health and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee), Cathy Hockaday, PhD (Human Sciences Specialist/SFP 10-14 Program Manager) and Wadih Maalouf, PhD (Program Manager at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna - UNODC) will discuss how current research and practice in family prevention interventions can address the challenges that families are experiencing all over the world in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
TALK # 2 WORKPLACE PREVENTION IN COVID 19
The workplace is one of the most neglected settings for prevention programming, especially programming devoted to preventing the use of psychoactive substances such as tobacco, alcohol, marijuana etc.. However, the workplace presents an opportunity to not only reach adults themselves, but also their children and the larger community with prevention messaging and prevention strategies. Many prevention professionals may not be familiar with workplace prevention interventions or services nor with the particular stresses of the workplace that can increase vulnerability for substance use. Those stresses have increased dramatically in the age of Covid-19. The workplace can be frontline—i.e., facing the pandemic in providing critical services--or teleworking from home with its own set of stressors. Workplace prevention strategies can be applied to address these concerns. At a micro-level, stresses include people working from home, who may be spending longer hours on the job, engaging much more with technology and in many cases, working in environments that are not ideal, due to family responsibilities, including child care, homeschooling their children, and other added obligations. At a macro level, COVID-19 pandemic has affected all industries and increasing job insecurity for workers. All these factors have added stresses and concerns for workers and in particular, workers who are parents. In this talk, we will be joined by Rebekah Hersch, PhD and Anthony Coetzer-Liversage, PhD candidate, to discuss how COVID-19 has changed the way people work and relate to colleagues and their workplaces and has become a risk factor for engaging in substance use. We will also discuss how now more than ever workplaces need to advocate for and introduce evidence-based workplace prevention interventions and policies that address these added factors and how to overcome the barriers that seem to impede the implementation of workplace interventions. We are looking forward to discussing prevention opportunities in the workplace and to a lively conversation around this topic. Please come with all your questions and ideas, so that all of us as prevention professionals can maximize our outcomes in this changing landscape.
TALK # 1 A CULTURE OF PREVENTION by APSI
A recent commentary in Prevention Science, [Sloboda, Z., David, S.B. Commentary on the Culture of Prevention. Prev Sci (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-020-01158-8 ] explored the concept of a culture of prevention and what that means to research and practice. The commentary was requested by the Associate Editors of a Special Issue on the topic. In the call to scientists for articles, the journal defined the concept as the “general orientation or readiness of a group of people…to address problems by using a preventive, rather than a reactive approach.” But how do we normally address serious behavioral health problems? Generally, it is piecemeal. We first identify a problem—often affecting large numbers of people, then devise programming to prevent them in the future. And generally, the focus is on treatment first. While we believe in ‘preventing problems before they happen,’ operationally we rarely build such programming without a recognition of serious problems that have affected many. And even then, we may not activate interventions for quite a while—e.g., the opiate overdoses of the past couple of years took a long time before policymakers recognized and provided significant funding to intervene effectively with emergency Narcan and treatments but not in the prevention of substance use. So how would a culture of prevention change that formula? Could we establish an infrastructure that is built to prepare and prevent populations from behavioral health problems? If so, what would that look like? In this session, Dr. Zili Sloboda will open our discussion by providing a general overview of the issues raised in the Commentary and her general take on this issue. Then Claudia Zundel and Craig PoVey will give us the view from their positions at the state level where the leadership in regard to prevention decision-making happens. How do they think of the value and possibilities of a “Culture of Prevention.” We will then open discussion with our audience.