TUNE Project Inspires Music and Healthy Choices
NEW TUNE PROJECT INSPIRES YOUNG WOMEN AND MEN TO MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES
“Live your life like it’s your favorite song,” is the theme of TUNE, a new initiative encouraging young adults in Nebraska to make positive healthy choices and take control of their lives. It was recently launched by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS).
The TUNE project is NDHHS’s first interactive health and wellness program that incorporates music and a Life Course Health approach to assist young women and men, ages 16 to 25, to make positive healthy choices early in life to improve their chances for success, and to prepare them for their possible future role as parents.
Nebraska’s Startling Birth Statistics
Nebraska was one of 13 states to receive a federal grant to improve birth outcomes. Currently, nearly 10 percent of babies born in Nebraska are preterm (2007) and one out of 14 newborns were considered low birth weight (2008). Over the past 12 years, low birth rate in the state increased 12 percent, and preterm infants increased 25 percent.
TUNE Music Reaches Young Adults
Extensive research conducted last year in Nebraska discovered that most young people generally know what they should do to be healthy, but just are not making appropriate choices. Many were not concerned about health issues right now, believing they can change behaviors when they are older or have more time. Several other reasons cited included stress, time demands, money, friends and other relationships, as well as lack of self-esteem and goals for their future.
The TUNE project recognizes the important role that music plays in the lives of young adults, and uses original songs written by local and regional artists. The lyrics touch on the issues on the minds of young women and men today, helping them to find the inspiration needed to make positive changes and to think about the health choices that will affect them throughout life. The artists were selected through a songwriting contest NDHHS conducted during the Fall of 2009.
Focus on Positive Health Choices
TUNE includes tips to assist young adults in evaluating their future and understanding the importance of good health. Young women and men are encouraged to visit the TUNE website – www.tunemylife.org – for videos, downloadable songs, artist interviews, health information that ties into the song messages, and links to additional health and wellness resources.
The TUNE project was launched in April. During the summer, the music and program was introduced on radio stations, online, and at Nebraska concerts and fairs. The program will continue to reach young adults in the fall through a variety of classroom activities at schools across the state, and the announcement of a second songwriting contest.
Life Course Health
Another important component of this project is the TUNE Into Life Course Health resources developed for professionals to use to initiate Life Course Health conversations with young women and men. The Life Course Health model is based on science and emerging practice to assist young adults in understanding how physical and emotional health, relationships, stress, education, and goal setting all play an important role in current and future health and success in all aspects of their lives.
If you work with youth, these new tools can be incorporated into your programs, curriculum, and conversations. They are all available to you at no cost. Go to www.dhhs.ne.gov/tune to download toolkits, educational resources, and other materials to share with young adults in your programs. Check out TUNE at www.tunemylife.org.