It was suppose to be a fun night downtown, but the driver decided to drive drunk. He ends up crashing his car into a pole and one of your friends becomes seriously injured. Maybe you're at a party and you notice a sleazy person talking to one of your friends and you decide not to intervene. Half an hour later the sleaze is gone, and so is your friend. You have no idea what happened to either of them. Perhaps one of your friends starts to act strange. Them seem mopey and distressed and you do not have the slightest clue on how you can help them.

            All these situations have dangerous aspects. They can have even scarier consequences if they are ignored or handled incorrectly. Health Promotions offers a variety of trainings and programs for students to help their friends. As college students we are exposed to more situations than we were previously exposed to. With these different programs and trainings, Health Promotions can help train students to be better prepared in these tough situations.

            SODAS, one of the more popular programs, gives incentives for students to drive sober. For those over 21, it's common for students to go out drinking. Driving is one of the most dangerous tasks a person can try intoxicated. To encourage students to practice sober driving, Health Promotions offers SODAS bracelets to students. If they pledge to always drive sober and never let their friends drive drunk, they are given the bracelet of freedom. At participating locations, students who are wearing their bracelet can get free soda. This program creates an incentive of free drinks so students can be a sober designated driver.

            One of the programs offered is Take a Stand. When we stand in the background and do not intervene in negative situations, a problem can become worse. In this program, students will learn how to help their friends avoid or get help with sexual assault, relationship violence and alcohol poisoning. This will help students to find the courage to stand up for their friends and help their friends get the resources they need when they face these situations. This training is offered throughout the month; the link to the calendar is found on the bottom of NAU's Health Promotions home page.

            Is one of your friends acting strange? Do they seem depressed? It might be hard for some students to talk to their friends who might be depressed. Bringing up the conversation can be tricky, and they might be evasive if it is brought up incorrectly. Health Promotions offers an online training for students (as well as a separate training for faculty and staff) called Kognito training. This training takes about half an hour and is done on a computer. The program saves the progress so it can be continued at a different time. This resource helps students to learn how to approach the problem and discuss it with their friend. It is an interactive course where the student will have simulated conversations with student avatars. After the training is complete, students should be able to have productive conversations with their friends about their problems.

            With everything going on in and out of school, there are so many problems and situations that can happen. Although it's impossible to be 100 percent prepared for every situation, any amount of training can help. All of these programs give the tools and resources needed to help students figure out how to keep their friends safe. After all, the best of friends are always there for each other. What is preventing you from being an amazing friend and preparing for these situations?

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