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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. SAMHSA was established in 1992 and directed by Congress to target effectively substance abuse and mental health services to the people most in need and to translate research in these areas more effectively and more rapidly into the general health care system. Over the years SAMHSA has demonstrated that - prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from mental and substance use disorders. Behavioral health services improve health status and reduce health care and other costs to society. Continued improvement in the delivery and financing of prevention, treatment and recovery support services provides a cost effective opportunity to advance and protect the Nation's health.

The specific agency that is responsible for preventing alcohol, tobacco, and drug problems is the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).To help Americans lead healthier and longer lives, CSAP promotes a structured, community-based approach to substance abuse prevention through the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF). The framework aims to promote youth development, reduce risk-taking behaviors, build assets and resilience, and prevent problem behaviors across the individual's life span. This approach provides information and tools that can be used by States and communities to build an effective and sustainable prevention infrastructure.

Current Campaigns:
2015 "Talk. They Hear You"
2015 "Talk. They Hear You"
Past Campaigns:
No Past Campaigns Available
PSA Digital » SAMHSA Campaigns

Current PSA Campaigns for SAMHSA

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SAMHSA’s “Talk.  They Hear You.” (“Hable.  Ellos escuchan.”) Dinner Table
Public Service Announcement

Underage drinking and its associated problems continue to be a national public health issue in the United States, especially among adolescents. Alcohol is the most widely used substance among America’s youth, contributing to a wide range of costly health and social problems, such as the following:
  • Injury and death from motor vehicle crashes
  • Interpersonal violence
  • Intentional injuries
  • Brain impairment
  • Sexual activity
  • Academic problems
  • Alcohol and drug poisoning

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 21 percent of Hispanic youth 12 to 20 years old reported current alcohol use.

To address the problem, SAMHSA created a new television public service announcement (PSA) in Spanish titled Dinner Table, which will be distributed to 294 local broadcast stations and national networks, as well as 46 local cable stations.

In the new television PSA, as the family settles down and gets ready for dinner, the young girl, Isabella, checks her phone as she sits down. She looks excited as she shares with her parents that her friend will be hosting a party on the weekend.

The parents seize the moment to talk about the dangers of underage drinking. They start with the typical questions that many parents or caregivers would ask in this situation. “A party? At whose house? Are the parents going to be there?” And … “Is there likely to be drinking happening?”

Isabella shoots back answers to all the questions, but offers only a noncommittal response to the last question about alcohol. She attempts to redirect attention away from her and toward her older brother, Daniel. With a slightly annoyed edge, she rolls her eyes and says, “It’s going to be fine. And why don’t you ever ask Daniel about drinking when he goes out?”

The parents respond in a measured manner, with some of the dangers associated with consuming alcohol—especially for someone who is under the legal drinking age. Isabella sighs. Daniel, trying not to look like he’s taking sides, subtly chimes in that Mom and Dad have actually talked to him about drinking. Isabella looks at Daniel with a hint of suspicion. Daniel answers with a shrug, “Yep. And … I get it. From what I’ve seen so far, I think they’re kinda right.”

We see that the daughter, although annoyed, knows her brother’s advice comes out of love, and the message is clear. While listening to their children’s conversation, both parents feel relieved hearing and seeing how the older child provides sound guidance to his sister.

SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” (“Hable. Ellos escuchan.”) national underage drinking prevention campaign aims to reduce underage drinking among youth ages 9 to 15 by providing parents and caregivers with information and resources they need to start addressing the issue of alcohol with their children early.

“Talk. They Hear You.” features a series of television, radio, and print PSAs in English and Spanish. The PSAs show a family “seizing the moment” to talk with their children about alcohol, for example, while having a family dinner. From the behaviors modeled through these PSAs, parents can see the many “natural” opportunities for initiating the conversation early about alcohol with their children. To learn more, visit http://www.samhsa.gov/hable-ellos-escuchan.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2015). Report to Congress on the prevention and reduction of underage drinking. Rockville, MD: Author. From https://www.stopalcoholabuse.gov/media/ReportToCongress/2014/report_main/2014_RTC_Volume_I.pdf (accessed August 22, 2016).
Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2015). Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed tables. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. From http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabs2014/NSDUH-DetTabs2014.pdf  (accessed August 22, 2016).
2015 "Talk. They Hear You"
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2015 "Talk. They Hear You" TV  

Underage drinking continues to be a national public health issue in the United States, especially among adolescents. Alcohol is the most widely used substance among America''s youth, contributing to the three leading causes of death among 12- to 20-year-olds: unintentional injury, homicide and suicide. Further, underage drinking has severe consequences, many of which parents may not be fully aware such as injury or death from accidents; unintended, unwanted, and unprotected sexual activity; academic problems; and drug use.

To address the problem, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is introducing a new TV PSA entitled: “Mom’s Thoughts,” which will be distributed to 1,000 local broadcast stations and national networks, as well as 500 local cable stations.

In the new TV PSA when Mom receives a text from her 10-year-old daughter, Luci, asking to go to a friend''s house for a sleepover, she realizes she needs to talk to her about the dangers of underage drinking. But where does she begin? Listening to Mom''s thoughts, we catch a glimpse of the sometimes difficult and awkward process most parents go through when trying to initiate a conversation about drinking. Mom finally seizes the moment to talk with Luci on the stairs of their home, and advises her to say "no thanks, not my thing" if a friend ever offers her alcohol. Although it seems as if Luci is not listening, like most children, she really does hear what Mom is saying.


Past PSA Campaigns for SAMHSA

No Past Campaigns Available
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