4 Easy Ways to Extend a One-Session PPW Program

Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) programs are evidence-based screening and brief interventions found effective in preventing substance use and promoting wellness behaviors in just one session with youth and young adults.  

The brevity of PPW programs make them ideal for achieving broad public health reach among general as well as high risk youth populations. 

However some providers, such as health and physical education teachers, have access to young people over multiple weeks permitting follow-up sessions.   

Below are suggestions for easily extending your one-session PPW program into two, three or even more lessons. 

#1: Implement Multiple PPW Programs 

Many schools and organizations like to implement a number of different PPW Programs over a multi-week-long period.  One popular strategy, for example, is to provide the SPORT (Alcohol/Drug) PPW Program one week followed by the Marijuana PPW Program, Vaping (E-Cigarette) PPW Program and Opioid PPW Program over subsequent weeks.  

The number and sequence of PPW programs you provide is up to you, depending on your youths’ needs and organization’s goals. 

Another strategy is to follow-up one of the above mentioned single-session PPW Programs by providing some or all of the six-lesson SPORT 2 PPW Program.  Using SPORT 2 PPW along with one of our one-session PPW programs allows you to provide up to seven total PPW lessons. 

A third strategy is to follow up with youth receiving an initial single-session PPW Program with a PPW Video Program.  PPW Video Programs show dynamic images of youth engaged in wellness behaviors which is a great add-on to any of the manual-based PPW Programs which use PowerPoint slides. 

#2: Provide a PPW Parent Program 

Another effective strategy to extend and strengthen your PPW program is to provide a PPW Parent Program. 

PPW Parent Programs are practical, one-session parent training versions of our popular PPW Programs for youth addressing the prevention of alcohol, cannabis, e-cigarette and opioid use. 

Prevention Plus Wellness Parent Programs are a great way to ensure youth and young adults receive reinforcing positive behavior and image messages and multi-behavior goal setting at home, in addition to school or other community settings.  

Youth and young adults need to receive evidence-based prevention messages that promote physical and mental wellness not just by prevention specialists or teachers, but also by their parents! 

Repeating prevention messages in multiple settings and from different individuals can strengthen the positive effects youth experience from PPW program messaging and goal setting.  

#3: Encourage, Assign & Assist Youth to Complete Weekly Goal Setting 

Yet another strategy to enhance your PPW program is to follow up with participating youth and young adults by encouraging, assigning and even assisting them with weekly goal setting and monitoring to enhance their self-regulation skills. 

Many schools and organizations use this three tiered approach depending upon how much time and access they have with youth beyond offering a one-session PPW Program. 

At the minimum, every youth should be encouraged to continue to set and monitor weekly goal plans to avoid substance use and increase one or more protective wellness behaviors after receiving a PPW Program. 

Prevention and health specialists can also assign youth and young adults to complete a second goal plan by providing them with either a paper copy or the link to our online PPW goal plan. 

Thirdly, you can work with youth individually or in groups to continue to develop their goal setting skills to ensure they are setting measurable and achievable goals over several weeks and monitoring their success over time to learn critical self-control skills. 

#4: Reimplement the PPW Program Every 6-12 Months 

Research shows that while some health behavior effects last even a year after implementation of the one-session PPW Programs, reimplementing the same lesson every 6-12 months could help maintain program effects over time. 

We view PPW Programs as an effective inoculation against substance use and chronic disease risk behaviors common among all youth and young adults. 

Providing young people with an opportunity to reflect on their current health behaviors, providing them positive behavior and image feedback designed to cue desired, positive images of themselves in the future and helping them set and monitor multi-behavior goals is a practical and powerful method to improve and sustain the physical and mental health of youth and young adults if provided on a regular basis. 

Lastly, don’t forget to implement the pretest and posttest surveys included with PPW Programs so you can monitor your PPW Program’s fidelity and success and use the data to both promote and improve your program over time. 

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