Support for projects helping communities to prevent and reduce substance use-related harms among youth


June 2024

To help support the response to the toxic illegal drug supply and overdose crisis, and address harms related to substance use, the Government of Canada has announced over $3.1 million in funding for community-based projects to address the root causes of substance use and prevent harms among young people.

Funding is provided under the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Youth Substance Use Prevention Program to implement and adapt the Icelandic Prevention Model (IPM) in various communities in Canada. This model, which is recognized internationally for its collaborative approach to preventing substance use harms among youth, is based on the fundamental principle that prevention efforts should be focused on building strong and healthy communities. Using a collaborative approach, it focuses on strengthening factors that promote overall health and well-being, and prevent substance use-related harms among youth. These factors include healthy relationships, safe environments, and school and community connectedness.

British Columbia (total of $250,000)

Northern Lights: Securing a bright future for youth in Northern British Columbia through Planet Youth
Northern Health Authority – Northern British Columbia
$125,000 over 18 months
to support establishing an advisory table, selecting a pilot community, and strengthening community engagement through coalition building with partners from diverse sectors. Northern Health delivers health services for the population living across 32 municipalities, including 55 First Nations communities, and Métis and Inuit partners in northern BC.

Strengthening the Circle: Supporting Healthy Pathways for Nuu-chah-nulth Youth
Nuu-chah-nulth Youth Warrior Family Society – Port Alberni, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
$125,000 over 18 months
to support the identification and building of a local prevention coalition of diverse sectors, and guided by the knowledge and teachings of Indigenous communities within Port Alberni and Vancouver Island. The Nuu-chah-nulth Youth Warrior Family Society is an Indigenous-led, non-profit organization that works with local elders and knowledge-keepers to support transformative change within the communities and social environments of Nuu-chah-nulth Nations.

Saskatchewan (total of $125,000)

Planet Youth Battlefords and Area
Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre Inc. – North Battleford and surrounding area, Saskatchewan

$125,000 over 18 months to support community goal-setting and the implementation of the model adapted to the cultural context. Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre Inc. is a prominent First Nations-owned and operated health care organization providing culturally safe health services to promote the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of the member bands and surrounding area.

Ontario (total of $2,618,900)

Knowledge Development & Exchange Hub for Youth Substance Use Prevention
Renison University College – Waterloo, Ontario
$2,250,000 over five years
to lead a pan-Canadian youth substance use prevention community of practice, and facilitate the sharing of information, knowledge and best practices among projects. The Knowledge Development and Exchange Hub for Youth Substance Use Prevention (KDE Hub-YSUP), hosted by Renison University College, affiliated with the University of Waterloo, will also capture the Canadian experience and adaptation of the IPM by consolidating evaluation results across funded projects at the pan-Canadian level.

Peterborough Youth Substance Use Prevention Pilot (PYSUPP)
Peterborough Public Health – Peterborough, Ontario
$125,000 over 18 months
to support establishing a steering committee of youth-serving sectors and mobilizing community members to work upstream to influence risk and protective factors associated with substance use. Through community programs and healthy public policies, Peterborough Public Health (PPH) works to improve the living conditions of those in need for the benefit of all. PPH serves residents throughout the City and County of Peterborough, as well as Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations.

Neighbourhood Coalitions for Youth Substance Use Prevention
The DAM – Develop Assist Mentor – Mississauga, Ontario
$125,000 over 18 months
to support the building of new community coalitions in Meadowvale and Cooksville neighbourhoods, using the Erin Mills Connects collaborative design. In addition, funding will support strengthening relationships with school communities, youth and youth-serving agencies. The DAM is a longstanding grassroots organization that works closely with youth and school communities, providing mentorship and programming to strengthen protective factors and improve the social environment.

Planet Youth Haldimand-Norfolk
Haldimand-Norfolk Public Health Unit – Haldimand and Norfolk counties, Ontario
$118,900 over 18 months
to support community engagement with youth and youth-serving sectors, and develop a community coalition to implement the IPM. The public health unit services rural communities across Haldimand and Norfolk counties, providing a range of health programming and initiatives.

Nova Scotia (total of $124,884)

Glace Bay IPM Initiative
Undercurrent Youth Society – Glace Bay and New Waterford, Nova Scotia
$124,884 over 18 months
to support community engagement through the establishment of advisory boards of diverse sectors to identify needs and adapt to the local context of the community. The Undercurrent Youth Society provides community-based programming to strengthen protective factors that promote overall health and well-being among youth.

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