Approaches

iRT uses a variety of approaches to find the best solutions for healthy living. Each strategy is evidence-based and has been developed by a multidisciplinary team of scientists, artists, and practitioners to deliver results in an engaging and accessible way.

Media Literacy Education

Media environments and the behaviors of young people have evolved. Youth are now exposed to more media from more sources at earlier ages. From TV to smartphones to social media, the lives of many children and teens are dominated by 24/7 media exposure.

Many media messages run counter to making healthy lifestyle choices. Social media posts may suggest drugs, alcohol, and tobacco are fun and harmless. TV shows and movies often depict sex and relationships unrealistically, giving youths unhealthy expectations for their own lives.  This is why schools, community groups, and parents choose a media literacy approach for health education.

Our media literacy education programs help youth become aware of how media may influence the choices they make. They teach youth how to recognize the source, dissect the message, and uncover motivations, so they can evaluate the information.  The programs also teach youth how to find medically-accurate health information, so they can make better-informed decisions.  Also, we recognize the importance of parents and caregivers in promoting the health of their children and offer several media literacy education programs geared specifically for parents and families.

Mindfulness 

Today’s youth are experiencing more stress and anxiety than ever. Sources of stress may be from challenges or pressures in school, at home, or with friends. If youth are not equipped with tools to deal with these challenges, the impact can be detrimental to their health and well-being. Mindfulness is a new way to provide youth with skills to be aware of their feelings, thoughts, and actions in the moment.

Mindfulness has the potential to increase attention and awareness while decreasing anxiety and impulsivity. By providing youth with the space and time to slow down and think before responding, there are more opportunities to make conscious, healthy decisions. Our mindfulness education programs help youth to learn, practice, and apply mindfulness to their daily lives.

Community-Level Intervention Planning 

We’ve designed our community interventions around the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF). The SPF, developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a framework for planning community-level prevention of substance use and related behaviors, such as drugged driving. The SPF is a data-driven process in which communities assess their needs and the scope of the problem, build capacity to address the problem, and plan, implement, and evaluate prevention programs and practices.

Communities, including community coalitions, can plan effective interventions using the steps in the SPF. Our Drugged Driving courses teach key skills at each stage of the SPF process—particularly the assessment and building capacity steps—which are key to creating an effective prevention plan.