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SW Va. gets grant to curb tobacco use among youth

staff report • Jul 5, 2012 at 11:09 AM

WISE — Planning District One Behavioral Health Services in Southwest Virginia has received a three-year grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth to provide tobacco prevention programs for local youth in Wise, Lee and Scott counties.

Frontier Health’s prevention services staff will partner with PD1 to provide “Project TNT: Toward No Tobacco Use,” an evidence-based program that will be presented to fifth- and sixth-graders at L.F. Addington Middle School and Powell Valley Middle School in Wise County, Stickleyville Elementary School in Lee County, and Yuma Elementary School in Scott County.

The program seeks to assist youth to say “no” to tobacco use by helping them change preconceptions about tobacco and teaches the dangers of tobacco use, how to make good decisions, how to resist peer pressure, and how to encourage peers and family members not to use tobacco.

Amy Bledsoe, a Frontier Health certified prevention professional, said the goal of the program is to teach students about the dangers of tobacco use and “empower them to make healthy choices to remain tobacco free.”

The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth is responsible for leading statewide efforts to prevent and reduce youth tobacco use and childhood obesity.

Since the Virginia General Assembly established the foundation in 1999, high school smoking in Virginia has been cut nearly in half, and the number of middle school smokers has dropped by more than 65 percent. For more information about the foundation visit www.healthyyouthva.org/.

Frontier Health’s prevention services in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the city of Norton are funded in partnership with PD1 Behavioral Health Services. Frontier Health is the region’s leading provider of behavioral health, mental health, substance abuse, co-occurring, developmental disabilities, recovery and vocational rehabilitation services.

Frontier Health has served Southwest Virginia since 1957.

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