All the other videos produced through this contract are focused
on geographic areas, specifically states and territories. What unique challenges
were there in producing a video for an American Indian audience, which is spread
out across the country?
The biggest challenge for us was to develop a video on underage drinking that resonates
with the general American Indian audience. In other words, how to come up with one
video that captures the diversity and the impact of underage drinking for 565 federally
recognized tribes, as alcohol impacts various generations and regions differently.
We wanted to capture the impact of alcohol across multiple generations, including
the full spectrum, from the very young to the elders.
Why was it important to produce a video especially for American
While working as the project officer for the Native American Center for Excellence
(NACE) for more than 6 years, I’ve learned that tribal communities consistently
name alcohol as the #1 substance impacting the health and wellness of Indian Country.
Indian Country teaches us that it is critical that we keep alcohol prevention a
priority in our work, especially with American Indian youth. Teaching the children
to be substance abuse free and living life to their fullest potential is a priority
for American Indian families and communities.
The mission of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities,
and that includes our American Indian communities. We are reminded often that it
is most important to apply cultural knowledge and cultural wisdom to promote health
and wellness in Indian Country and to prevent unhealthy behaviors. Following this
concept and framework assisted in making this video a success.
What, for you, was the most interesting or satisfying aspect of
participating in this project?
We appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with the Tribal Health—Reaching Out
Involves Everyone (THRIVE) Conference; working with more than 100 different tribal
youth representatives to develop and produce this prevention video. The THRIVE Conference
allowed us to gather a bigger and more diverse perspective from tribal youth leaders.
I appreciated the opportunity to engage the youth in this process as we wanted to
truly hear their voices, too. They speak from the heart in this video, and many
of their peers will be encouraged and motivated to live substance abuse free and
be role models in their tribal communities. We are hopeful as an agency that the
seeds that we spread will be far reaching and will have a long-lasting impact for
families and communities alike. Lastly, I always enjoy the collaboration with other
SAMHSA colleagues working on projects for American Indians, as leveraging of resources
and coordinating efforts will definitely benefit our tribal partners. It was a pleasure
for me to work with my colleague who manages SAMHSA’s Underage Drinking Prevention
Education Initiatives (UADPEI) contract, which provided the platform and funds necessary
to develop this amazing video.
What advice would you give to someone who is just beginning to work
on a video for an underserved population?
For any agency or organization, it is important to understand the culture of the
population you are working with—to understand their view and the general society’s
view about them. Don’t attempt to make a video for them, but rather engage them
in the process from A–Z. That way the video will truly have a chance of being effective
for the intended audience and in meeting the needs of the underserved population
you are targeting. Another word of advice is that you allow them to teach you about
the challenges and successes of prevention work in their communities.
Critical Dialogue with Native Youth about Underage Drinking: Our Culture is Prevention.
Trust your producer! He or she is well versed in the production
process, just as you are with critical prevention issues and messages for your communities.
By bringing these unique areas of expertise together, with each side trusting in
the other, you and your team will be able to make a truly professional, high-quality
video product that resonates with your target audience.
—State/Territory Videos Project Coordinator
South Dakota wanted to create three public service announcements (PSAs): one highlighting
youth, another focusing on parents, and a third presenting youth and parents together.
The youth-focused PSA was to feature five teens representing a variety of interests:
basketball, football, music, rodeo, and karate. If we were to show each of those
teens in their respective environments, the shoot would have been incredibly expensive,
not to mention a logistical nightmare.
The team decided to rent a studio in Sioux Falls and shoot each of the teens, dressed
in their appropriate uniforms or attire, against a white, infinity background. Furthermore,
the team agreed that this “look” would be ideal for the other two PSAs, as well.
This approach not only greatly diminished the preproduction demands but also had
the benefit of providing a consistent look across all three PSAs.
Here are some ways states/territories
are getting the message out:
Kansas “launched” its videos in April to coincide with Alcohol Awareness Month.
The state uploaded the videos to its
www.teenthinking.org media campaign website and promoted the links using
Facebook ads. Kansas plans to continue efforts to promote the videos at the
community level in the coming months.
Several videos produced through the State/Territory Underage Drinking Prevention
Videos Project last year were recently honored with awards. Congratulations to all
the teams that worked on the following:
Parents to Prevent Underage Drinking in New Jersey video
- Communicator Awards of Excellence
- Hermes Honorable Mention
you say NO to alcohol, what are you saying YES to? video (Maine)
- Communicator Awards of Distinction
"Somos Mas" campaign against underage drinking video (PSA #1)
"Somos Mas" campaign against underage drinking video (PSA #2)
- Communicator Awards of Distinction
- Hermes Gold Awards