Small Talks: Third Quarter 2020 Newsletter

DHS Logo Original 07/11/2018

Small Talks: Third Quarter 2020 Newsletter

small talks banner

The Small Talks: How WI Prevents Underage Drinking Quarterly Newsletter is published four times a year with information on Wisconsin's underage drinking prevention campaign. Small Talks is a statewide campaign created by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services that encourages adults – especially parents and caregivers – to have short, casual conversations about the dangers of underage drinking with the children in their lives starting at age 8.

Small Talks: Fast Facts

Featured resource: Fast facts

Underage drinking isn’t harmless fun. School-aged children are going through a critical period of physical and emotional growth. Kids who drink during this time can suffer real damage—exposing their developing brains, lives, and mental health to serious, even deadly, consequences. Help the kids in your life understand the risks of underage drinking by getting the facts for yourself. Check out our fast facts fact sheet.

Add small talks to the back to school checklist

The back to school season is a great time to talk with your kids about alcohol. Help them sort out what they may hear from friends before someone hands them a drink. Get talk tips.

Answering tough questions

Some questions about alcohol can be hard to answer, so it’s important to be prepared. In partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, we'll feature a few of these common questions and answers in every newsletter. Are you struggling to answer a question about alcohol from a young person in your life? Email us. We'll help you answer it. 

“Why is alcohol bad for me?”
Don’t try to scare your kid about drinking or tell them, “You can’t handle it.” Instead, tell your kid that alcohol can be bad for their growing brain, interferes with judgment, and can make them sick. Underage drinking has severe consequences, including injury or death from accidents; unintended, unwanted, or unprotected sexual activity; academic problems; and drug use. Young people who drink are also more likely to have health issues such as depression and anxiety disorders. Once a kid hears the facts and your opinions about them, it is easier for you to make rules and enforce them

"Why do you drink?”
Make a distinction between alcohol use among kids and among adults. Point out that, for adults, drinking small amounts is not harmful to their bodies, and if you choose to drink, it is always in moderation. Tell your kid that some people should not drink at all, including children.

Media buy raises awareness of campaign 

We want everybody in Wisconsin to know that adults can have a small talk with a kid about the dangers of underage drinking anytime, anywhere. To spread this message, we've invested $100,000 in a paid media campaign. Launched in July, this campaign includes 38 billboards around the state, advertisements on 72 local news websites around the state, advertisements on podcasts and other streaming audio content geared toward Wisconsin parents and caregivers, and advertisements on social media targeted at adults with young kids. This paid media campaign runs through Labor Day. 

Be our partner: #SmallTalksWI

The success of the Small Talks campaign depends on you. It is easy to show your support. 

We appreciate your support.

New materials coming soon

We are creating new materials to help you promote the Small Talks campaign in your community. 

Multilingual materials
Our facts sheets and posters will soon be available in Spanish and Hmong. If you need the materials in other languages, let us know. Send us an email

Videos series
Are you nervous about having a small talk? Not sure how to prepare for a small talk? Need help understanding how to listen and not lecture? Have a fear of failure? Unsure how to make small talks a routine? We've got you covered. We've talked to adults experienced in having small talks for a series of videos that will soon be available online and on social media. These "small talkers" explore your concerns at every stage of the small talk process and answer your questions. You can do this. We'll show you how.

Sign up for our SmallTalks email list to receive future editions of this newsletter

**The next edition of this newsletter will be published in November 2020.**