FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sara DeLong, CDPHE 978-697-7051 [email protected]
Elizabeth Owens, CDHS 303-906-2360 [email protected]
Español: Vanessa Bernal 720-357-4248 [email protected]
State launches innovative campaign focused on the power of connection to improve the health of Colorado youth
REMOTE, Sept. 3, 2020 – The State of Colorado is launching an innovative marketing and outreach campaign to support a healthier generation of Coloradans. This campaign will promote healthy behaviors among youth by focusing on a key goal: connected relationships.
Two state agencies, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), are combining resources and expertise to produce the new Forward Together campaign.
The goal of Forward Together is to help Colorado youth become more connected – to their peers, their parents, and other adults they trust -- because research shows youth who feel connected are less likely to experience poor mental health. Youth who feel connected are also less likely to engage in risky behaviors related to substance use, sexual health, and violence. According to the 2019 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, youth who have a parent/guardian or trusted adult they can talk with are less likely to use marijuana, vape, or experience feelings of depression.
This support for Colorado youth comes at an especially important time as many of their usual opportunities for connection have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 has impacted us all profoundly, particularly our youth,” said CDPHE Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan. “It is difficult to stay connected right now. By helping youth work through those difficulties and build quality relationships, we are building a healthier Colorado -- a state where youth can thrive despite the adversities created by the pandemic.”
To ensure the Forward Together campaign can authentically and effectively connect, the campaign is engaging youth in every stage of the process. More than 100 young people ages 12 to 20 from across the state, as well as many parents and adults who work with youth, participated in panels and focus groups to help shape the campaign with their ideas and feedback.
“Now, more than ever, youth need positive, connected relationships to support us while we cope with our lives being turned upside down. We’re dealing with changes to our jobs, school, and how we take care of each other. I started college this week, and it’s almost unthinkable how different things are now. This campaign offers us a powerful, concrete tool to help find or create that support,” said Sam Moccia, a 19-year-old Youth Advisor at CDHS who contributed to the development of the campaign.
Forward Together will work with partner organizations in local communities across the state to provide resources that promote youth connectedness and increase the ability of parents and other trusted adults to build quality relationships with young people.
The first part of the Forward Together campaign will launch on Monday, Sept. 7, with television and digital ads statewide focused on raising awareness among parents and trusted adults. The second, youth-facing part of the campaign will launch on Monday, Sept. 14, using digital and social media ads to reach young people through the platforms where they are most likely to engage. These ads feature real Colorado youth, parents and trusted adults.
For more about the campaign, visit ForwardTogetherCO.com.
You can also stay updated by following @ForwardTogetherCO on our Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.
FOR THE MEDIA: Media can access additional information here, including:
Downloadable versions of five television spots (in English and Spanish) that will air across the state featuring Colorado parents and youth sharing their stories.
Forward Together FAQ.