Prevention Messaging

The New England PTTC has two workshops to offer in the area of prevention messaging.  Read the descriptions below to learn more.  These workshops can be brought to your state, community, or organization.  If you are interested in hosting one or more of these trainings, please contact us at


Prevention on the Brain: Developing Effective Brain-Friendly Prevention Messages for Youth

Developed and presented by Sheila Nelson, MPH, MSW


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Description of Workshop: Adolescence is a time when young people’s brains are changing and developing rapidly, causing them to approach decision‐making in new and different ways. Understanding how youth think about risks and choices around substance use, relationships, sexuality, and other health behaviors is key to developing prevention approaches that are truly effective. This training will present the latest knowledge we have about how brain development affects the ways that young people evaluate their health choices, and how adult educators and prevention professionals can present our messages in ways that maximize our impact. This information will provide attendees with the skills to adapt and grow their prevention toolbox, and encourage prevention professionals to think beyond the frame of our current practice.


Learning Objectives:

Objective #1 Participants will develop an understanding of the ways in which brain development affects the ways that adolescents perceive risk and decision‐ making

Objective #2 Participants will recognize common pitfalls that may make prevention messaging less effective for young people

Objective #3 Participants will identify developmentally appropriate strategies for supporting healthy decision making and risk reduction



Minecraft not Ms. Pacman: Transforming Presentations for Today’s Audiences

Developed and presented by: Jamie Comstock and Robin Carr

Description of workshop: Do your presentations inspire and influence your audiences? Do you know how to tackle tough topics and information overload?

We use presentations as one of our primary strategies to share content knowledge, build skills, ignite calls to action and affect culture change. Many of us have attempted to create compelling presentations, however most of us never receive any formal training in presentation design - despite all we expect presentations to do for us.

In this six-hour full day in-person workshop, participants will learn practical skills to plan and deliver exceptional presentations using the tools and resources they already have. This workshop will have a special focus on marijuana prevention education, but is a transferable skill set across topic areas.


Learning Objectives

After the session, participants will be able to:

  • Apply a four step process to create brain-friendly presentations
  • List the most common presenter mistakes and understand how to prevent them
  • Use tools and techniques that enhance learning
  • Increase audience engagement and participation
  • Use and display data effectively
  • Design compelling, polished visual aids for presentations


Target Audience

Nonprofit and public sector professionals, substance use prevention professionals, behavioral health professionals, public health professionals and others tasked with delivering presentations


The New England PTTC is sponsoring these trainings as prevention courses available at the 2019 New England Summer School of Addiction and Prevention Studies.


If you are interested in bringing these trainings to your state, community, or organization, please contact us at or (207) 626-3615