Philosophy and Goals

Healthy Choices, Healthy Relationships

HCHR Equality Wheel Poster

The Healthy Choices, Healthy Relationships program was created to meet existing (or expected) Health Education framework guidelines and learning standards in most states. Designed for flexibility, the material is suitable as either a subject specific stand-alone unit, or as infusion lessons for an established curriculum.

The underlying goal of Healthy Choices is to help adolescents prepare for optimum success in relationships that are central to life. Throughout the lessons, the participants gain information and skills for improving individual wellness, self-esteem, and the ability to relate to others in healthy ways. A variety of activities increase awareness of what motivates their current behaviors and how life choices result in either positive or negative consequences. Some specific topics include:

  • Evaluating media, cultural, and family influences that influence expectations about love and life;
  • Understanding important developmental differences between the adolescent brains of boys and girls;
  • Identifying socially acceptable and positive dating behaviors;
  • Recognizing and protecting themselves from negative dating situations;
  • Showing caring and consideration to others;
  • Improving decision-making and stress management skills;
  • Setting personal short-term and long-term relationship goals.

HCHR Safety Plan Poster

Throughout the program, students are encouraged to self-regulate emotions and take responsibility for behavior choices, particularly those that impact others.

The Healthy Choices Instructor’s Manual uses a ready-to-teach, step by step format for maximum impact with minimal preparation time. The Manual also contains lesson background information, PowerPoint slides, lesson-by-lesson activity resources as well as participant worksheets and handouts that can be copied as needed. or can be supplied in booklet form based on the instructor’s preference.

Lessons are designed so that evaluation of achievement is more qualitative than quantitative. Instructors are encouraged to focus more on process and continuing growth than on a specific measurable product. Homework assignments, which are optional, serve to extend the lesson’s purpose or lead into a new lesson, and actively involve participants in their own learning.

In addition to health education classes, this unit is most directly applicable in family living, family and consumer science, and after-school programs. Other appropriate settings include pregnancy prevention programs, pregnant and parenting teen programs, community, recreation, and faith-based youth organizations, and the Juvenile Authority.