Young people are confronted with many confusing and challenging issues. It’s sometimes hard for them to figure out their thoughts, beliefs, and alternatives. Talking confidentially with a mentor can be very helpful. Mentors can provide information and insight; mentees will have their own unique ideas and perspectives. Talking about smoking is an example of a potentially challenging yet positive conversation. By completing this module, you will:
- Increase your understanding of the health consequences of smoking.
- Increase your understanding of the reasons why youth start smoking.
- Improve your ability to have effective conversations about smoking with your mentee.
- Be encouraged to serve as a role model for healthy behaviours.
Strategies presented in this module work best with middle-school-age youth participating in one-to-one matches. Before raising a challenging issue like smoking with your mentee, you should wait until you have formed a close connection, and ensure that you are both comfortable discussing the topic. It’s also important to consult with program staff before initiating a discussion, as they can provide useful guidance and advice. * This module is excerpted from the guide “Healthy Conversations – A Mentor’s Guide to Preventing Youth Tobacco Use” produced by the State of Connecticut’s Governor’s Prevention Partnership. Learn more at www.preventionworksct.org.