Talk to Your Kid’s, They’re Listening
In August of 2019, a countywide campaign launched urging parents to talk with youth about risky behaviors such as underage drinking. The campaign then known as “Talk. They’ll Listen” was relaunched in 2023 and entitled “Talk to Your Kid’s, They’re Listening”. The new campaign will be seen on social media, billboards, flyers, posters and radio ads. A monthly e-newsletter is also sent out to parents and caregivers. Community coalitions will also help spread the message . A website with more information about the campaign can be found here: (https://waynecountycoalitions.com/ ). The website will contain tips about how parents can start conversations with youth about underage drinking along with resources and connections to community coalitions and addiction services available in Wayne County.
In 2019 a survey was conducted that stated Only 57% of Wayne County parents have talked with youth about alcohol, according to the most recent youth survey. “That’s a number we’d like to greatly increase,” said Rhiannon Whalen-Harris, OneEighty’s Community, Prevention, and Victim Services Director. The simple act of talking, listening and sharing information can have a direct and large-scale impact on underage drinking and other risky behaviors, Whalen-Harris said. And youth really listen to their parents. In fact, 90% of youth say their parents have the most significant impact on whether they drink. Survey statistics have shown alcohol is the most commonly used substance among youth.
The campaign is organized through OneEighty and promoted through the Wayne County Impact Group comprised of agency representatives working on alcohol prevention among 8th and 10th graders. Survey results show numbers spike in underage drinking between 8th and 10th grades: 15% of 8th graders said they drank in the past 30 days and for 12th graders that number rises to 21% or nearly one in four.
The campaign was funded through a grant from the Substance Use and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) and administered by Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. OneEighty has been the lead agency in Wayne County overseeing and coordinating grant efforts.
For more information on the campaign, including getting materials, visit waynecountycoalitions.com