Resources for preventing substance use and related harms among youth
School communities can play an important role in preventing substance use and related harms among youth, by using school- and community- based efforts to enhance students' overall well-being and resilience.
These efforts are a valuable complement to health education for students about the potential harms of substance use and the strategies used to minimize them.
On this page, you will find resources that members of school communities can use to prevent or delay substance use among youth and reduce the harms associated with youth substance use.
On this page:
- How to use the resources
- Resources to enhance students' well-being
- Resources to prevent substance-related harms among youth
How to use the resources
The resources highlight that all members of school communities have a role to play in cultivating healthy school environments, including:
- other school staff
- community partners
School communities can use the resources to:
- shape school-level strategies to address substance use related harms
- develop lesson plans that include content areas and activities that:
- support resilience
- increase inclusivity
- celebrate students' diverse identities
- prioritize staff professional development opportunities
- inspire new/existing well-being-focused school:
- other initiatives
- train school staff and volunteers
- identify effective school-based positive youth development programs available
Resources to enhance students' well-being
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) partnered with the Centre for School Mental Health at Western University to develop a series of evidence-informed resources. These resources describe effective school-based approaches that centre on enhancing well-being to prevent problematic substance use and related harms.
The series includes:
Resources to prevent substance-related harms among youth
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) developed a Blueprint for Action through engagement with Canadian school stakeholders. The Blueprint for Action presents strategies for school communities to use to help prevent substance-related harms among youth. It combines evidence-based prevention and intervention approaches with the Comprehensive School Health framework, an internationally recognized approach to building healthy school communities.
PHAC partnered with the Students Commission of Canada to develop a set of resources and educational tools to help school community members implement the Blueprint in their own communities.
The Blueprint for Action resources include:
- A Blueprint for Action: Preventing substance-related harms among youth through a Comprehensive School Health approach
- Preventing substance-related harms among Canadian youth through action within school communities: A policy paper
- An interactive infographic showing how the Blueprint for Action can be applied in school communities
- A printable summary of the intervention approaches and the Comprehensive School Health framework
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