Before we can begin to have a positive impact on the emotional and behavioral health of the young people, one must first evaluate our own attitudes toward the relationship between youth and adults. How can we, the adults, ensure the young people we come in contact with have the knowledge and skills to be successful and contribute to the building of healthy communities? Is this something we do ‘for them”, “to them”, or “with them”? The more time we can incorporate the thoughts, ideas, strategies, and skills of the youth; our prevention programming will be more effective and have a greater and longer lasting impact.
This training also addresses that youth-led prevention isn’t just listening to young people, but even harder work of helping them develop their thoughts and opinions into organized effective prevention strategies. And finally, working with them to develop the skills to implement these strategies. These skills should stay with them long after the project is over, well beyond their time in a program, and on into adulthood. This is so critical and important because this life skill development IS the prevention.