July 1, 1998
RESPECT YOUR MIND, PROTECT YOUR BODY
TEEN HEALTH RESPONSIBILITY CAMPAIGN
CHICAGO, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced the Respect Your Mind, Protect Your Body teen health responsibility public awareness campaign. Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, said, "This campaign is part of an ongoing effort by the Department to lower the incidence of AIDS/HIV, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unintended pregnancy among adolescents."
Radio ads, developed with input from hundreds of Illinois teens, are the campaign centerpiece and will air statewide July 1 through September.
The Respect Your Mind, Protect Your Body theme communicates an important message that adolescents should respect themselves by making responsible decisions to protect their bodies from disease or unintended pregnancy.
"All too often we see teens questioning their judgment or making poor decisions based on peer pressure," said Dr. Lumpkin. "We want teens to learn through this campaign that they can make responsible choices about their health and abstain from high-risk activities."
The Department is placing an emphasis on adolescents because this population is constantly faced with situations that puts it at risk. The need for a public awareness campaign addressing the issues of abstinence and prevention in Illinois teens is illustrated by the following statistics:
The main component of the Respect Your Mind, Protect Your Body campaign is a series of six radio ads focusing on real-life situations that can put teens at risk for AIDS/HIV, STDs and unintended pregnancy. Each ad reveals a risky situation where the teen characters are able to talk through the problem and resolve it by making a responsible and healthy decision.
The ads were designed with the input of hundreds of Illinois teens to ensure they provide realistic scenarios that will empower their peer group to make responsible choices and to understand the value of respect that comes along with these choices. The ads are centered around the following key messages:
"By using radio ads to communicate realistic situations and solutions, we hope teens across the state will realize the importance of their decisions, especially when it comes to activities that put them at risk for AIDS/HIV, STDs and unintended pregnancy," said Dr. Lumpkin.
During initial phases of campaign planning, research was conducted with more than 200 teens in malls around the state of Illinois. A teen advisory panel, consisting of 30 African- American, Hispanic and Caucasian teens from around the state, also played a key role by providing the Department with their insights on the campaign theme and messages. Additionally, feedback on campaign concepts was received from 100 high-risk teens in cooperation with 41 state-funded organizations.
The radio ads also were tested with approximately 150 Illinois teens to ensure they provided realistic scenarios and solutions that would empower teens to make responsible health decisions. The following quantitative results from Illinois teens support the effectiveness of the radio ads:
"I think this campaign is cool because it uses real problems ones that kids see everyday," said one teen who served as a member of a campaign advisory panel. "Kids need to hear that they can make smart decisions about sex and drugs without looking stupid in front of other kids."
Other components of the campaign include supplemental brochures and posters targeting adolescents. These will be available in public places that are accessible to teens, such as neighborhood centers and runaway shelters.
Teens can call the Illinois AIDS/HIV and STD Hotline at 1-800-243-2437 for more information. Calls are answered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Trained staff can provide information and service referrals in English and Spanish. The hearing impaired can call the Department's TTY, 800-547-0466.
The following fact sheets on HIV/AIDS, STDs and unintended pregnancy are
African-American Adolescents, Living in a High-risk Population
Hispanic Adolescents, Living in a High-risk Population
Adolescents at Risk, Statistics on HIV/AIDS, STDs and Unintended Pregnancy
Talking to Your Kids about HIV/AIDS, STDs and Unintended Pregnancy
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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