Youth Prevention Mentors was founded to facilitate communication between young adults and parents to address the increasingly fatal drug and alcohol epidemic. With over 150 individuals overdosing daily, it is the number one killer in our nation of people under 50. Our peer-to-peer and whole-family approaches aim to enlighten young adults on how to approach an encounter with substances, while educating concerned parents on the most effective and productive ways to engage with their children.
Youth Prevention and Mentorship
Our Youth Prevention and Mentorship Program is an effective two-pronged approach of mentoring and drug testing designed to mitigate risk among young adults. It includes:
One-on-One Mentoring for Your Young Adult:
One of our Youth Prevention Mentors will be matched with your young adult and will work with them in one-on-one sessions. Because the Youth Prevention Mentor is not a parent, and because the mentor may only be a few years older than the young adult, the young adult generally feels more comfortable confiding in the mentor, resulting in a deeper understanding of the individual’s demeanor. As the young adult and mentor develop rapport through regular sessions, the mentor will be able to use his experience and perspective to create bespoke solutions to the lingering problems of the young adult.
In addition to mentorship meet-ups, a Youth Prevention Mentor will visit as-needed to administer drug tests with the young adult. Tests will be sent to a lab for analysis and our team will provide the family with expert interpretation of the results, in addition to guidance on the next steps.
Deviation Mitigation and Family Support Program
Our Deviation Mitigation and Family Support Program is an in-depth, family-focused, and effective multi-pronged approach of mentoring, workshops, and testing designed to mitigate a more severe risk among young adults. It can include some or all of the following:
Youth Mentoring is a focused approach, which provides a customized program. Maks, or another Youth Mentor from YPM best suited to the needs of an individual, will schedule one-on-one sessions with the young adult. The time spent with a mentor will lead to a deeper understanding of the youth’s attitude toward a given problem. Listening closely to a young adult’s perspective creates a better understanding of the problem and ways to find possible solutions. Our Youth Prevention Mentors make meaningful connections with these young adults by sharing the power of their own story and the insights gained from their own adolescent experience.
Maks or another Youth Mentor selectively discusses their story and experience with drugs and alcohol to a group of young adults. Afterwards, the Mentor would field any and all questions from the audience. Having a youth mentor, often with a similar upbringing, share their experience produces an inquisitive reaction that shifts the young group’s consciousness about substances and possible outcomes. Hearing these experiences will provide a ‘wake-up’ call to the young audience.
Young adults and their parent(s) have weekly sessions with Natasha and Maks to discuss sets of issues, including recurring troubling behaviors and concerning patterns. This allows for the family and team to discern what the underlying issue(s) are and to create goals for both the parent(s) and the young adult. After one month, it is recommended that the family, Natasha, and Maks review where progress has or has not been made and assess goals. When necessary, we will recommend coordinated care with psychiatrist Dr. Kaminski and/or other organizations.
One-on-one Parent Coaching:
Private meetings can be scheduled with parents, Natasha, and the YPM team to discuss the specific concerns of the family. After establishing and differentiating what the parents want from their child versus. what is realistic and attainable, the YPM team will then collaborate to help the parent achieve the best way to engage with the young adult. Natasha and the YPM team will check-in weekly with the family to discuss and analyze the progression.
Parent workshops are led by Natasha and one of the many youth mentors. The workshops are designed to present: common struggles, various approaches, and healthy solutions to a group of concerned parents. Role playing scenarios are an integral part of the workshops. This type of participation allows parents to directly experience how different communication approaches yield varied responses. We emphasize the importance in establishing an accepted stance on certain matters within the family so that the young adult will not play parents against each other.
In addition to mentorship meet-ups, a Youth Prevention Mentor can visit as-needed to administer drug tests with the young adult. Tests will be sent to a lab for analysis and our team will provide the family with expert interpretation of the results, along with guidance on the next steps.