Spare the Lecture: Students Click to Learn about Safer Drinking

Wednesday January 11, 2012

Campus Living Centres’ “Check Your Drinking: Residence Life” provides college and university residence students with anonymous, non-judgmental feedback.

Prior to the start of this academic year, Campus Living Centres, the largest owner and operator of student housing in Canada, launched a specialized online tool to help residence students make better decisions about their drinking.

Those 24 and under have nearly three times the rate of heavy frequent drinking compared to those 25 and over. Heavy drinking results in serious health consequences and increased emergency department admissions. However, there is strong evidence that certain interventions can help students stay healthy. Experts recommend interventions that combine cognitive-behavioral skills, normative comparisons and motivational feedback. Check Your Drinking based on these principles of Brief Intervention.

“Students spend a lot of their time online so the screener is an excellent way to reach those who may not have sought out information otherwise,” says Tim Fricker, Director, Residence Life and the Student Experience at Campus Living Centres. “The instant feedback tells students the facts they need to know to make informed choices about their drinking.”

Check Your Drinking Residence Life is anonymous and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Students receive a personalized Final Report that helps them understand their drinking patterns, and how their drinking affects their health, finances and studies. Randomized Controlled Trials have repeatedly shown Check Your Drinking helps problem drinkers significantly reduce their alcohol consumption.

“Check Your Drinking is an excellent and technically relevant way to educate students about the reality of alcohol consumption without lecturing or nagging, which we all know doesn’t work,” says Trevor van Mierlo, CEO of Evolution Health, the company behind Check Your Drinking. “Students overestimate the amount that their peers are drinking, so our technology helps correct these misconceptions. Plus, it can be really eye opening for students to see how much money they on alcohol, how many calories they consume, and relatively easy tips on how to reduce their risk.”

Evolution Health and Campus Living Centres are excited to partner on this project and produce new research on this topic. “The screener is a powerful platform to collect important data about residence student perceptions and habits related to alcohol across the country,” says Mr. Fricker. “Very little of this type of data, if any, is available in Canada to describe the perceptions and habits of residence students from a cross section of institutions. This data will hopefully result in published research that may help residence administrators develop new educational programs and services for students that promote healthier choices.”

About Evolution Health Systems Inc.

Evolution helps make life changes possible. With over 10 years of research, Evolution uses online communities, professional health coaches, peer support, mobile health and web-based education to help people reach their health goals. For more information about Evolution Health Systems, please contact Rachel Fournier: rfournier@evolutionhs.com or 416-644-8476 x222. Online: www.evolutionhs.com

About Campus Living Centres

Campus Living Centres is the largest owner and operator of student housing in Canada. The “Residence Life Program” offered to students embraces the unique academic mission and philosophy of each partner institution and the diverse needs of the residence community to create an environment that supports each student’s academic and personal success. The “Check Your Drinking: Residence Life” online tool is available to over 8,000 students on 20 college and university campuses living in residences managed by Campus Living Centres. For more information about this initiative please contact Tim Fricker: tfricker@campuslivingcentres.com or 647-274-8108

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