Mental Health America of Licking County is offering a free program to help families confront the issues of drugs, alcohol and other dangerous behaviors.

Mental Health America of Licking County is offering a free program to help families confront the issues of drugs, alcohol and other dangerous behaviors.

The workshop, "What Successful Kids Have that Others Don't," will be presented in six locations around the county. The program will teach parents and children how to reduce a young person's risk of addiction, criminal behavior, inappropriate sexual activity and dropping out of school.

Judith Allee, MHA parent support coordinator, leads the program, which focuses on small but important steps that help parents develop better relationships with their children and children develop responsibility and resilience.

A meal will be provided and childcare for preschoolers will be available at most of the locations and meeting times. Parents can attend without their children, but children cannot attend without an adult.

The workshop is also open to grandparents, childcare providers, teachers, church and service club members and other interested people.

Program content is geared to the child's grade level, with specific activities for teens and their parents. It is based on national research conducted in 1997 by the Search Institute, which included three Licking County school systems. More information on this approach may be found at www.Search-Institute.org.

Advance registration is required. Sessions may be canceled if fewer than five people sign up. Those interested in attending should call Allee at (740) 522-2277 or e-mail her at judithallee@mhalc.org.

These sessions will be offered. Each session is for all ages except the 9-11 a.m. session in Utica on June 11.

Newark -- 9-11 a.m., and 6-8 p.m., Monday, June 2. Mental Health America, 65 Messimer Drive.

Pataskala -- 9-11 a.m. and 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, June 3, Pataskala Nazarene Church, 8100 Hazelton-Etna Road.

Johnstown -- 9-11 a.m. and 6-8 p.m., Friday, June 6, Johnstown Presbyterian Church, 81 S. Main St.

Utica -- 9-11 a.m. (adults only) and 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, June 11, Ye Olde Mill, 11324 State Route 13 just south of Utica. All participants will receive a Velvet ice cream cone.

Hebron -- 9-11 a.m. and 6-8 p.m., Monday, June 16, Hebron United Methodist Church, 502 E. Main St.