Press Release – NEW YORK, NY (November 20, 2018) — HealthCorps, a national health and wellness nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and dedicated to making students stronger, will host events in classrooms across the country this month in conjunction with the 4th Annual National Night of Conversation. In anticipation of Thanksgiving Night, parents are encouraged to have an open conversation with their children about alcohol and drugs over dinner. Research shows that children who have dinner with their families have a lower risk of drug use.
The National Night of Conversation was developed by The Dr. Oz Show, Facing Addiction, HealthCorps, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services. A 2017 survey of 298 HealthCorps students found that 28% of students do not feel comfortable discussing drugs and alcohol with their parents.
“Alcohol and drug addiction is a real problem in America, particularly in the high risk communities we serve. These classroom activities allow students to have a frank conversation about addiction and how it has played a role in their lives. We hope that the conversation we start will continue at home.” said HealthCorps President Michelle Bouchard.
Many HealthCorps classrooms will host guest lectures with students, staff and parents. Latta High School in Ada, OK, funded by Chickasaw Nation, kicked off the conversation on October 16th. Parents of all high school and junior high students were invited to a screening of a new docu-series Killing Pain, an in-depth look into Oklahoma’s opioid addiction epidemic. After the viewing, a question and answer panel was held with various members of the Ada community.
In Chickasha, OK, 160 students participated in an assembly with Jeff Hargrove from non-profit FATE (Fighting Addiction Through Education), whose mission is to educate students on substance abuse and addiction in Oklahoma.
“Events like this one will empower students to have frank conversations with family and trusted advisors around addiction and recovery that can save lives. We are grateful to HealthCorps and FATE for addressing this issue and to Continental Resources for bringing the HealthCorps program to the Chickasha Community,” said freshman biology teacher, Amy Wikerson.
At Heard Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona, HealthCorps Coordinator Michael Guadarrama will host an after school program for a group of parents and their children with partner organization DrugFree AZ Kids.
In Knox County, Kentucky students from six schools attended an assembly at Union College presented by HealthCorps, Anthem Foundation and Partners for Education Berea College.
“Educating our youth about the dangers of opioids is vital to helping with the opioid crisis in our area,” said HealthCorps coordinator Lisa Woodlee. The keynote speaker for the event was Kentucky Health Commissioner, Dr. Jeff Howard.
The Facing Addiction Discussion Guide can be found here.
HealthCorps is a 501 (c)(3) that works in high need high schools to give teens tools to improve physical and mental health so they can learn to live more productive and happier lives.
Founded in 2003 by Dr. Mehmet Oz, HealthCorps’ mission is to strengthen communities with the most innovative approaches to health and wellness to help the next generation be more resilient, both mentally and physically.
HealthCorps students exercise more, eat better and practice positive thought.