Botvin LifeSkills & #WowTalk

In 2020, McMillen Health received funding from the Indiana Department of Health to implement three nationally recognized evidence-based programs throughout the Indiana counties of Blackford, Elkhart, Fulton, Jay, Kosciusko, and St. Joseph in an effort to reduce teen pregnancy. Over the next three years, McMillen Health will implement the Botvin LifeSkills High School and Transitions Programs to improve social, emotional, and foundational life skills in adolescents aged 13-19 in the school setting; #WoWTalk Café models in efforts to provide a transformative change in increasing engagement of teens and parents/caregivers; and the Adolescent Champion Model, a multi-faceted intervention designed to address a health center’s environment, policies, and practices to ensure that all aspects are centered around youth.

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LifeSkills Training for High School Students

LifeSkills Training (LST) promotes positive mental health and personal development in adolescents. We provide two curricula options to serve all high school students’ needs.  LST High School is 10 sessions and teaches 9th and 10th grade students the essentials of healthy living and effective communication skills that will serve them well as they gain more independence in their teen years. LST Transitions is a 6-session curriculum for 11th and 12th graders that helps prepare them for a healthy transition into young adulthood.

These curricula are formed around three key focus areas:

  1. Personal Self-Management
    Decision-making and managing stress, time, and money
  2. General Social Skills
    Strengthening communication skills, building and maintaining relationships
  3. Drug Resistance Skills
    Understanding the consequences of substance use and risk-taking

LST High School Academic Standards PDF
LST Transitions Academic Standards PDF

Evidence for LifeSkills Training

Both curricula have been shown to reduce the rate of substance use in high school students by half. LifeSkills Training curricula have been selected for excellence by organizations such as:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • And more!

Program Structure

McMillen Health’s professional educators present the 6 (Transitions) or 10 (High School) sessions in 45-minutes presentations to teens. McMillen Health is known for highly interactive health education that keeps students engaged to ensure they will come away with the knowledge to make healthier choices, no matter what their learning style is. Short, low-literacy videos are incorporated into each program session to make each topic relatable to youth. Follow-up activities are available for each session to be used at the discretion of the classroom teacher or supervisor. Community resources are also provided to program participants.

To schedule your sessions, contact Shannon Gleason:
sgleason@mcmillenhealth.org or call (260) 456-4511

Resources by county:
Blackford Resources
Elkhart Resources
Fulton Resources
Jay Resources
Kosciusko Resources
St. Joseph Resources

Parent Cafés and #WoWTalk Cafés for teens are group conversations designed to help people work together to build protective and promotive factors, as developed through the Youth Thrive framework.

Protective and promotive factors:

  • Personal resilience
  • Social connections
  • Knowledge of youth development
  • Concrete supports in time of need
  • Social, emotional, behavioral, intellectual, and moral competence in youth

Each Café session includes large and small group discussion to help attendees work through common issues that families face. Topics are presented in a fun and interactive way to help drive home the lessons learned at each discussion. Cafés last about 90 minutes, have an informal setting, and snacks are provided (for in-person only).

Cafés are for:

  • Youth and young adults – information they need to be more successful as they transition into adulthood.
  • Parents – education about raising resilient, thriving families.

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To join a Café, contact Shannon Gleason:

sgleason@mcmillenhealth.org or call (260) 456-4511