As part of the “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign, SAMHSA launched an online simulation tool that helps parents and caregivers practice talking with their kids about the dangers of underage drinking.
Recently, the “Talk. They Hear You.” online simulation tool received national recognition as a finalist for the Games for Change “Most Significant Impact” award. This award category recognized games that exemplified impact for a specific social issue with proved actions and outcomes. SAMHSA is now preparing to launch a 2.0 version of the tool, which will feature new improvements, including:
- Mobile app to reach parents on-the-go, available for Android, iOS (Apple), and Windows devices
- Diverse avatars that more parents and caregivers can identify with
- 3D environment to give users an enhanced experience
Check out some behind the scenes photos showing the development of the new app.
During the extensive research SAMHSA conducted to develop the “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign, we learned something unexpected: Most parents did not know where or how to start a conversation about the dangers of underage drinking with their kids. They didn’t know how important their words could be. Most importantly, parents wanted help.
The “Talk. They Hear You.” team began looking for a creative, out-of-the-box way to model effective conversations about drinking to supplement to the Campaign materials and PSAs. We teamed up with subject matter experts for children and families, as well as an online game developer, to create a first-of-its-kind online simulation tool.
The tool uses “emotionally responsive” virtual humans (avatars) to teach parents and caregivers how to effectively use a conversation to influence their child’s behavior and attitudes toward alcohol. Parents are able to practice talking to a child in a realistic yet risk-free environment (even equipped with an undo button). Along the way, they get tips from coaches based on the Motivational Interviewing Model. Check out some conversation tips from our experts that are reinforced in the online simulation.
I invite you to give the “Talk. They Hear You.” online simulation tool a try today and look for version 2.0 coming soon.
For more information visit SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” webpage.