Healthcare & Pharma Awards 2022

57 GHP Healthcare & Pharma Awards 2022 Based on proven principles of professional drug and alcohol prevention, Gobi Support speaks to young people in their language. Supporting teens and parents through those challenging conversations, Gobi Support provides ‘no-cost’ help to stop or prevent teenage substance abuse. We speak with Founder and Executive Director, Judson (Kim) Bemis, to find out more. ased in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Gobi Support’s mission is to provide families and mental health professionals with online solutions to adolescent substance abuse. Gobi targets parents and guardians of 13-17-year-olds who have become aware their teen is experimenting with drugs or alcohol. When Kim Bemis and his wife discovered one of their children was experimenting, they couldn’t find a program to help them deal with the issue. Kim, a professional in the treatment business, took the opportunity to create an online intervention program to reach kids directly. Via their smartphones. The Gobi program is an education-based, self-administered guide that promotes self-examination and a healthy lifestyle. It’s designed to help teens, and their parents, work together to think about, and make better decisions around, substance abuse. The unique program was developed based on clinical work done at the University of Minnesota. Further input was sought from parents and clinicians. Gobi then hired teens from local sober high schools and college programs to write the content. Gobi continues to build on its content based on the feedback and experience of the hundreds of teens and parents who have already completed the program. Kim tells us, “The content suggests skills and strategies to help change how parents communicate with teens. It offers ways to promote self-compassion supplemented with recent research on adolescent brain development and teen substance use. An international team of clinicians and researchers reviews all our content.” As well as its 21-day program, in recent months Gobi has created and launched a 10-day prevention program. This is designed to target teens who have not yet started to experiment. Gobi has also launched two product extensions. Kim explains, “Many times, over the past few years we have heard parents say that their teen is using substances to relieve depression or anxiety. We’ve added specific tracks to the existing program to help teens manage their symptoms of depression and anxiety by not using cannabis or alcohol. Our goal is to replace this unhealthy strategy with healthier, more constructive coping mechanisms.” The results are encouraging. Out of almost 1500 families that have taken part in the early intervention program, 65% of teens complete the program. 71% of these consider reducing or stopping substance abuse completely. Over 50% of parents developed a better understanding of their teen’s circumstances and were able to communicate with them more effectively and calmly. Roughly 85% of the families that seek help from Gobi do so because their teen is using THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). In the later part of the year, Gobi will be seeking funds to build a specific program to address teen cannabis use. Kim says, “We’re always reviewing new technologies and adolescent substance use trends. We’ll be forming a teen advisory council this year and have regular meetings with our Intervention Board of Advisors.” As well as helping teens and parents, Kim believes Gobi could be used as a clinical tool for use by school counsellors, social workers and therapists. “Teens are reluctant to speak about these issues, especially to adults. Yet our teen participants say they’re willing to be honest online. Our program is a potential ice breaker that clinicians can use as an adjunct to therapy. Gobi will help them get better information and see behavioural patterns earlier,” Kim explains. It is for this reason that Gobi has won Best Teen Substance Abuse Early Intervention Platform – USA and it is set to continue improving the lives of many. Contact: Judson (Kim) Bemis Company: Gobi Support Web Address: B Jul22524 Best Teen Substance Abuse Early Intervention Platform – USA