The Evaluation of Mental Health Promotion Campaign
Recent sociological research data and official health statistics show that alcohol is widely spread among the youth. According to the 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, more than 20% of 14-19 year olds consume alcohol on a weekly basis, and despite the fact that selling alcohol to people under 18 is illegal, alcohol is still accessible to many young people, so in spite of showing decreasing tendency, alcohol consumption remains on the high level (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2013, N.p.). As a consequence of alcohol consumption among young people, decreases also the level of alcohol-related harm, including death, hospitalization, physical abuse by people under the influence of alcohol etc. These data proves the necessity of urgent actions, aimed to reduce alcohol consumption among young people and to promote overall health and wellbeing. One of such actions is the increase of community awareness, and this paper seeks to evaluate Vic Health’s No Excuse Needed health promotion campaign for the characteristics that should ensure its effectiveness in increasing community awareness, as well as to demonstrate evidence of alcohol related harm, which explain the rational of holding this campaign. In addition, this paper presents my own approach to promoting the decreases of alcohol consumption and overall wellbeing, describing the possible mental health promotions interventions.
The Characteristics of Vic Health’s No Excuse Needed campaign
No Excuse Needed is the second part of VicHealth's Alcohol Cultural Change project, followed by Name That Point campaign and was supported by State Government. This campaign aims to change the culture of drinking by challenging the social norms around drinking (Vichealth.vic.gov.au, 2015, N.p.). The core characteristic of this campaign consists in the approach that does not aim to prevent drinking among young people at all, but only to provide moderate drinking without reaching the harmful level. The basis of the development of this approach is the research that most young people don’t have the intention to get drunk when they go, but in fact very often drink more than planned under pressure by their peers, being unable to find excuses and say "no". Thus, the core message of this campaign sounds like: “You don’t need an excuse”. This core characteristic of “moderation instead of prevention” ensures the effectiveness of the increasing awareness among young people by being loyal instead of setting bans and restrictions.
Taking into account that young people tend to be non-conformist and to reject strict ruling, this campaign is closer to the psychology of young people, thus, is more likely to reach the young peoples’ conscious and to be accepted. The perception of information by the target audience is the first step to reaching the objective of this campaign, which consists in reducing the number of young people, who are drinking heavily on regular basis as well as challenging social norms around drinking. The second characteristic that provides effectiveness to this campaign is the method and technique of expressing the idea. Information is …