Tag: motivational interviewing

3 Tips for Even Stronger Connections with Youth

You know the scenario: you administered the Rapid Assessment for Adolescent Preventive Services (RAAPS) risk assessment and are ready to meet with youth to confidently discuss their identified risks. But how do you start the conversation? And once it’s started, how do you help guide them towards healthier behaviors?

Coaching youth toward behavior change is arguably just as important (if not more important) as the risk screening. Luckily, Motivational Interviewing (MI) is here to help. MI has been studied extensively and shown to be an effective approach with youth to reduce risks (like substance abuse, unintentional injuries and unsafe sexual behaviors). Here are three questions to ask yourself to determine if improving your MI skills would be helpful in guiding your youth towards safer behaviors:

  1. What are you doing to connect with youth? MI helps create the spirit of how you’re talking with youth; it shows commitment to evidence-based strategies and helps improve quality of services.
  2. How are you communicating with youth on identified risk behaviors? MI equips you with strategies to improve your ability to discuss identified risks and motivate youth toward healthy decisions.
  3. How are you cultivating your skills in working with youth? Youth risk is different than adult risk, which means you’re going to need specific skills. That’s why adolescent-specific MI training is so important. MI creates an environment that allows youth to disclose information about their risk behaviors, improve their motivation to change, and seek advice on how to do so. Dynamic and engaging MI workshops can help you improve your skills in using MI to more effectively motivate the youth you serve.

 Before you can coach youth on risk reduction, you need to know the risks! RAAPS is a reliable and validated assessment and coaching tool that quickly identifies risk behaviors in youth and provides simple health messages to support behavior change and ongoing discussion with a professional; it’s developed especially for the needs of youth…and the professionals (like you) who care for them.

To learn more about how Adolescent-focused MI Training can facilitate those important conversations and help youth build positive attitudes, language, and actions, check out our newly released whitepaper: Adolescent-focused Motivational Interviewing (MI): Making the case for more effective communication with youth.

For more information on scheduling an MI Training at your organization, contact us at info@pos4chg.org.

FAQ: How Do I Effectively Respond to Risk Behaviors?

Now that I have asked the questions, how do I effectively respond to the risk behaviors that have been shared with me?

Since the RAAPS is a screening tool, not a diagnostic tool, it is recommended that protocols for risk intervention and referral should be established prior to implementation. For professionals using the online RAAPS, health messages will appear based on the risky behaviors identified by individual youth. These health messages can be used as a resource when providing risk reduction counseling. Messages have been created based on current literature and include teen friendly ideas for changing behaviors as well as self-efficacy messages. Click here for more information on how to improve your skills in motivating adolescents to change their risky behaviors through training.

Did you know?
At Possibilities for Change, we train teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers, and other professionals in effective communication strategies by offering the Improving Adolescent Health by Motivating Change workshops. You can choose a format that works best for you: a 4 hour, 1 day, or 2 day workshop. This interactive training teaches you to use motivational interviewing strategies which improve your ability to identify risk behaviors, communicate effectively, and motivate adolescents toward positive behavior changes. Read what professionals have said following participation in the workshops.

We want you to feel confident in your skills! Contact us to work more effectively with adolescents today!

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