Objectives, Strategies and Outcomes
1. Identify the local needs and priorities of young people aged 13-19 who have left the traditional school setting early, in relation to improving their smoking status, nutrition and levels of physical activity.
A comprehensive consultation process was undertaken at the beginning of the Live it Up! project in two stages, the first being amongst organisations/community groups who provided services to young people within the target group. 12 youth/community organisations participated in this consultation, which was undertaken through individual interviews, phone discussions, questionnaires and a number of focus groups.
The second phase of the consultation was undertaken with young people themselves who were clients of these services. 13 young people participated in a focus group and 22 young people completed a questionnaire.
The results of these consultations were compiled into two separate reports which detailed the consultation findings as well as providing a number of recommendations for project strategies.
2. Develop appropriate strategies for preventing smoking uptake, reducing smoking rates, improving nutrition, and increasing levels of physical activity of individuals within the target group
Eleven project strategies were developed and implemented with each strategy taking on a slightly different form based on the specific needs and client group of individual organisations. These strategies were:
1. Deliver education sessions/seminars to individual organisations.
2. Deliver smoking cessation groups, onsite to individual organisations for both young people and organisation staff.
3. Provide nutrition education sessions, followed by cooking classes/groups onsite to individual organisations.
4. Establish a weekly smoking cessation clinic with the provision of NRT available to target group.
5. Provide individual exercise sessions and encourage participation by target group.
6. Establish participation in a youth gym.
7. Institute a number of incentive based competitions in organisations.
8. Provide free counselling sessions to young people that focus on their exercise and eating habits.
9. Promote the project and the health promotion messages of smoking cessation and healthy nutrition and physical activity by attending youth focused health promotion events/expos.
10. Provide relevant training for youth workers.
11. Develop and distribute health promotion resources that assist organisations and young people to make healthier choices in relation to smoking, nutrition and physical activity.
3. To pilot the strategies developed in Objective No. 2.
Strategies were piloted amongst 30 participating organisations, which included youth centres, youth accommodation services, alternative education programs, youth health services and other service providers who have youth specific programs.
Overall a total of 440 young people participated in over 100 different activities which were run over the course of the project, with an additional 110 staff being actively involved in the planning and implementation of these activities.
4. To undertake advocacy activities to combat positive smoking sessions in movies.
A literature review was undertaken to determine the most effective strategies to combat positive smoking messages in movies. This review identified four priority areas of action, of which one was chosen - ‘placement of strong anti-smoking advertisements prior to the screening of movies that depict smoking’ - to inform the project strategy for this objective.
As a result an advertising campaign was run between November 2010 and April 2011, whereby an anti-smoking advertisement was shown prior to the screening of youth-targeted movies in all cinemas in the ACT throughout this period. It was estimated that this campaign reached in excess of 200,000 consumers, with a large proportion of these people likely falling within the project’s target group.
5. To prepare process information on the project (recognizing that full evaluation of community development and healthy settings initiatives cannot realistically be undertaken in less than five years of project initiation).
A number of evaluative measures were undertaken to determine project reach as well as the likelihood of behavior change amongst participants. These included pre and post surveys, observations, interviews with staff and individual case studies.
A few highlights from the evaluation include:
- 80% of young people surveyed after attending an education seminar/session stated that they had obtained ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’ information, with many indicating that attending the session had motivated them to make some change to their diet, smoking or exercise habits.
- 40% of young people attending a youth smoking cessation course had quit smoking after the final session.
- 88% of youth workers reported feeling ‘somewhat’ to ‘well prepared’ to promote healthy choices with their clients after attending a youth worker training session.