Harvard Center for Health Communication
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Ave.
The Center for Health Communication of the Harvard School of Public Health mobilizes the power of the mass media to improve human health. The Center's best-known initiative, the Harvard Alcohol Project, demonstrated how a new social concept–the designated driver–could be rapidly introduced through mass communication, promoting a new social norm that the driver does not drink. The project represented the first large-scale effort to incorporate health messages within the dialogue of Hollywood scripts. A second major effort, the "Squash It!" Campaign to Prevent Youth Violence, reinforced and validated decisions by young people to disengage from potentially violent confrontations. The Center’s Harvard Mentoriing Project uses mass communication strategies to recruit volunteer mentors for at-risk youth. National Mentoring Month, launched in January 2002, is an annual month-long campaign which includes a combination of national media, local media, and extensive community outreach. The Harvard School of Public Health–MetLife Foundation Initiative on Retirement and Civic Engagement is planning a national campaign to change public attitudes toward aging and motivate baby boomers and retirees to engage in community service.