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Healthy adolescent development is one of the cornerstones of public health. The Health Unit is investing in the health and well-being of youth because we know it is paramount to the successful transition to healthy adulthood. Our organization has developed a For Youth Team (FYT) to lead this initiative. This steering committee is comprised of representatives from various Health Unit programs. The purpose of this committee is to provide a venue to collaborate, network and share expertise related to youth and to advocate for youth-friendly developments including staff education.
The Healthy Adolescent BPG members include 6 public health nurses, 1 intuitionalist, 1 health promotion planner and a manager.
Implementation Goal and BPG Recommendations Implemented:
The goal of implementing this BPG is to enhance the healthy development of adolescents throughout the organization, city and district. This will be accomplished by implementing the following 3 recommendations from the BPG:
#2 The use of a comprehensive, multi-faceted interdisciplinary approach will enhance healthy adolescent development.
#4 Nurses and programs will acknowledge the importance of asset development for youth and support youth in the development of leadership skills.
#9 Organizations will establish internal policies and practices that support meaningful youth participation.
Year 1: Established a steering committee “For Youth Team”
- October 2009; introduced BPG at an all-staff meeting
- Completed work plan and logic model
- Decided upon the specific BPG recommendations
- All members of For Youth Team completed RNAO Champion training
- Secured base line data through organizational attitudes & beliefs staff survey
- Distributed 1st quarterly news letter to staff
- Pilot of social networking site messaging
- Hosted stakeholder training specific to positive youth development
Year 2: Implementing Programming
Presentations to community
- Sexual Health Conference - Tweets & Beats; The Influence of Social Media on Youth – 40 Developmental Assets & Teenage Brain
- Triple P Parenting sessions to community
- Superior High School parent council – Youth Suicide Prevention
- Media Literacy with Shari Graydon
- Just Ask Me – A grade 8 student exchange with students from Whitesand First Nation and Whitefish Valley (rural Thunder bay); this included a year long knowledge exchange though an e-learning system and a weekend retreat. The intent was to break down barriers, create respect and learn each others culture. Formally evaluated by CMHA
- Distribution of positive youth development newsletters to TBDHU staff
Year 3: Continuing the Work
Presentations to community
- Canadian National Injury Prevention Conference
- Ontario Injury Prevention Forum - Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force model
Healthy Eating Makes the Grade
- Food Ambassador program – youth leaders trained around healthy eating and advocacy in order to run healthy food events in their school
- Sexual Health Conference - “Let’s talk about Sex(uality)!”
- Pot Pills & Party Drug Strategy conference October 2011– For Youth Team committee members participated in the planning and participation of this conference that discussed illegal substance and the law.
Social Media Pilot Project
- Members of the For Youth Team committee members from Sexual Health have been successful in acquiring funding to host a social media pilot project. This includes a Facebook page focusing on Healthy Sexuality including information about STI’s.