“It’s never too late to break away from choices that can hurt you”, is now being heard in radio announcements on Cromwell’s WMCI (101.3) and WCBH (104.3). The message will also be televised on Consolidated stations ESPN, Cartoon, USA, HGTV, and Nickelodeon as well as WAND and WCIA. The eight public service announcements feature teen members from the Mattoon classic rock band, BreakAway, and encourage youth to make healthy choices about alcohol, tobacco, drugs, bullying, dating violence, and depression. Messages were created by I Sing the Body Electric at Sarah Bush Lincoln from the 2012 Illinois Youth Survey results reflecting the health risk habits of 58.8% of high school students from Clark, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Moultrie, and Shelby Counties.
Spencer Sharp, the BreakAway drummer and a Mattoon High School (MHS) student, announces that two out of five teens surveyed by Body Electric say they are bullied at school. “When you see someone being bullied, stand up for the victim,” encourages Sharp. “If you are concerned about your own safety, tell a trusted adult.” Bass guitarist and MHS student, Jacob Murphy, shares, “Your teen brain is not fully developed until you’re in your mid-twenties. Alcohol and drugs can harm a teen’s developing brain.” Hunter Laughhunn, guitar and MHS student, discusses that one in eight teens have experienced some form of dating violence from physical harm to control through texting. He encourages teens to “talk to a trusted adult and break away from harmful choices.” Lead singer/guitarist and Mattoon Middle School eighth grader, Will Sharp, addresses driving under the influence as he states, “One in seven teens surveyed by Body Electric said that they have drunk alcohol or taken drugs and then drove a car.” All of the prevention messages encourage teens to “Break away from choices that can hurt you”.
The campaign was developed by Body Electric as a part of a grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services Family and Community Services Bureau of Positive Youth Development, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The public service announcements are produced by coalition board member Kate Pleasant of WEIU. The videos can be viewed at www.sarahbush.org and www.breakawaymusic.info.