A social media toolkit for youth, by youth (our Peer Heroes!), highlighting risky behaviors on the RAMP® to addiction, giving hope and resources to young people dealing with anxiety, depression, and substance use disorder.
This prevention initiative came about when we were working with young people in recovery in co-design workshops, and they begged us to give them the chance to speak directly to their peers.
Our intention is to amplify their voices, bringing awareness to the risky behaviors on the pathway to addiction in order to interrupt the trajectory and prevent young people from becoming addicted to substances.
These “peer heroes” talk about their experiences dealing with depression, anxiety and substance use in the hopes they can bring awareness to risky behaviors, and inspire their peers.
By better understanding mental health issues and substance use disorder, we hope to motivate young people to choose healthy behaviors, and seek help for themselves or loved ones, if needed.
Our 10 Peer Heroes share their journeys and hopes in a way that their own peers can relate.
If these 10 voices help youth better understand the impact of their choices, to not feel so alone, and to encourage them to seek help for themselves or loved ones, then we will have succeeded.
We hope that you will share this content and get the word out to help young people who are struggling, many of them silently.
The Peer Heroes RAMP® toolkit has four components.
The Goal of this Toolkit
- Interrupt the pathway to addiction for young people in the “risking risk” category before they become dependent on substances or contemplate self-harm.
- Educate youth and their families/friends about upstream behaviors on the RAMP® to addiction so young people can recognize them.
- Communicate the realistic impact of continued substance misuse in ways that are easier for young people to acknowledge.
- Inspire and motivate individuals to take action to seek help, to stop, or cut down on substance use and/or get help for mental health challenges.
- Provide immediate resources to get help – both for individuals, and family or friends worried about loved ones.