Five Mountains Hawaii Launches New Underage Drinking Prevention Program

Five Mountains Hawai‘i, a 501(c)3 nonprofit in Waimea, has been contracted by the County of Hawai‘i, to implement a public awareness and coalition building campaign to prevent underage drinking.  The $100,000 contract is part of the Hawai‘i Strategic Prevention Framework-State Incentive Grant (SPF-SIG).

“Five Mountains Hawai‘i is grateful for the support of Hawai‘i County and the SPF-SIG program, and we are excited to have the chance to expand this important messaging,” said Five Mountains Hawai‘i Executive Director Robin Mullin.  “Our goal is to change or at least challenge the ‘perceived norms’ that tend to glamorize underage drinking.  Using several broad strategies, we hope to increase awareness, provide information and build capacity of our youth leaders.”

Five Mountains Hawai‘i, its contractors and youth members are building a branded public awareness media campaign with two branches, one for youth, one for parents/caregivers.  Several Hawai‘i Island youth groups are participants in the SPF-SIG program, and were on the creative team which named the campaigns:  “Be Akamai NO Try” for youth and “Models Not Bottles” for adults.

The campaigns launched with two new websites, social media, a communications workshop, and print, online and broadcast advertising, including radio/television commercials created by our youth.  Other elements include a tee-shirt promotion and island-wide information resource centers.  Free town hall meetings and screenings of an original documentary film “Perils and Pearls in Paradise” are scheduled for Kona, July 23, Hilo, July 27 and Waimea August 3.

“The good news is, about 75% of students (grades 6-12) in Hawai‘i County reported that their parents think it’s very wrong to drink,” said Mullin.  “The not-so-good news is that parents were also ranked the highest source of exposure to alcohol for all 6th – 12th graders.” Mullin said the statistics in use were drawn from County of Hawai‘i: Epidemiological Profile of Alcohol Related Behaviors Among Youth, Spring 2007; current revision May 2010, prepared by: SPF-SIG Epidemiological Team.  “We will be working hard to improve that and other statistics, as measures of underage drinking prevention.”

This project is an equal opportunity program funded through the County of Hawai‘I Mayor’s Office, Hawai‘i Department of Health, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – Center for Substance Abuse Prevention: Strategic Prevention Framework – State Incentive Grant SPO 13944.

For more information, visit www.FiveMountains.org or  www.ModelsNotBottles.org

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