The Saskatchewan Prevention Institute works towards preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in a number of ways. One of the approaches is through the Youth Action for Prevention (YAP) Project. YAP is a youth-focused FASD prevention initiative that encourages young people to create resources and projects that raise awareness of FASD and other alcohol-related harms among their peers. Saskatchewan youth (between the ages 14-24) develop projects and/or resources to share with their community.
How YAP Works and Why
The YAP program integrates and applies a number of strategies to youth-focused FASD prevention. First, using a philosophy of youth engagement as the basis of the program, youth are supported to create positive change in their communities. Second, the YAP program is characterized by a harm reduction approach, focusing on the consequences and risks of substance use rather than on use of the substance itself. For example, rather than suggesting total abstinence from alcohol, the harm reduction approach recognizes that not all youth will simply stop drinking, focusing instead on providing skills and tools to reduce the harms experienced through alcohol use. Third, the YAP program facilitates peer-to -peer prevention, by providing skills, resources, and support to participants in creating resources and projects specifically tailored to the needs of their peers.
Cope is a magazine that shares the voices of Saskatchewan young people and how they cope with challenges in their lives. This project gives young people a voice to share their experiences of both healthy and unhealthy ways of coping (alcohol and drug use), with the goal of peer-to-peer prevention. The aim is that youth throughout the province will connect with other young peoples’ experiences, feel supported, and learn about healthy ways of coping with difficulties in their lives.
Cope was developed as part of the Youth Action for Prevention Program; a youth-focused FASD prevention program that raises awareness about alcohol-related harms and supports youth to create positive change in their communities. The articles, photography, and art can be used as starting points for talking about the role of substances in the lives of young people and society, and ways to promote resilience.
What’s inside? Creative works which reveal the thoughts and opinions of young people and how they cope with challenges in their lives; the culture of alcohol consumption; a young man’s experience with addiction issues; the impact of addictions on family members; sex, alcohol, and consent; and the life experiences of LGBTQ members. In addition, the magazine explores youth finding outlets through music, getting involved, youth conference planning, and much more.
Coping through Song
“Driven” by the Youth Action for Prevention Songwriting Group
“Driven” is a powerful example of young people coming together to develop a creative resource to empower other youth encountering challenges in their communities. The song and video can be used as a discussion tool for both adult ally and peer-to-peer alcohol education workshops.
Eleven youth from Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation were brought together in order to create a song regarding the impacts of alcohol in their community. Lindsay Knight (Eekwol) facilitated the songwriting workshop, with the goal of providing young people with the opportunity to write lyrics and develop a song based on their experiences with alcohol (or those around them), and also focus on resilience, including what they like about living in their community and what helps them cope with challenges in their lives.
After the initial workshop, the youth met regularly to work on their lyrics. A follow-up song recording session took place, and the finished song was completed by July 2015.
This project was funded by the Youth Action for Prevention Program at the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute.
“Loop Theory” by the Rap and Rhythm Collective
The Rap and Rhythm Poetry Workshop was designed to empower youth to creatively express their stories of resilience through storytelling and rap. Twelve youth were selected to attend the workshop at the Core Neighbourhood Youth Coop (CNYC), where they were mentored by four local artists and learned the song writing and production process. The goal of the project was not only to encourage self-expression through story and song, but to create purpose-driven music with which others may connect with. Through the mentorship of these artists, the youth were able to self-produce a powerful and meaningful full length album. The album was released by Paved Arts in May 2016.
This workshop was funded by the Youth Health Community Grants Program at the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute.
Hammered: After Party Magazine
Hammered: After Party Magazine
What is it?
Hammered: After Party is a new magazine that was created by young artists and others who are interested in preventing alcohol-related harms. Click on the magazine image below to open the latest edition.
- Creative works which reveal the thoughts and opinions of young people about alcohol
- Interviews with young artists and people affected by alcohol: a young man living with an alcohol addiction, a young woman living with an FASD, a mental health and addictions worker, and many others
- Articles on how alcohol works, youth engagement, FASD, and much more
What’s the point?
Hammered: After Party was developed as part of Youth Action for Prevention, a youth-focused FASD prevention program. The articles and art in this magazine can be used as starting point for talking about the role of alcohol in the lives of young people and society. From these conversations, youth and communities can find ways to work together to address alcohol-related harms, support informed dialogue on alcohol use, and create positive change in these areas.
YAP Photovoice Project
The YAP PhotoVoice Project was developed as a provincial project for YAP participants to work on collaboratively. The overall aim of the project was for a group of Saskatchewan youth to use photos and words to communicate the impact alcohol has in their lives.
More specifically, the YAP PhotoVoice Project:
- Gave a voice to a group of participating youth by providing them with skills and confidence in photography, team work, and communication.
- Helped young people in Saskatchewan consider the impact alcohol has on their lives.
- Educated Saskatchewan people about what youth experience and feel about alcohol.
In the fall of 2010, a group of youth from a variety of Saskatchewan communities were involved in an intense training around using ‘PhotoVoice’ as a communication and evaluative tool. Participating youth followed through with ‘outshoots’ in their home communities following the training. All photos for the project were gathered together at the Prevention Institute, and youth were involved in the photo selection process. The final photos were put together to present to the public with accompanying information about the Photovoice process and conclusions of what was learned.
‘From “At-Risk” to Resilience': Youth and Adult Ally Workshops
‘From “At-Risk” to Resilience': Engaging Tools for Working with Youth to Reduce Alcohol-Related Harms
Workshops + Toolkit
Working with youth
The youth workshops are interactive and help young people analyze their substance use patterns and those of their peers. The aim is to engage youth to help them see the link between alcohol and substance use as it is related to increased risk of unintended pregnancy (and subsequently, FASD), STIs, impaired driving, and injuries.
Training adult allies (teachers, service providers, guidance counselors, social workers, youth coordinators)
Training workshops were developed in order to build capacity throughout the province and help adult allies engage youth in conversations about substance use and related harms.
The training sessions provide education about the concepts of youth engagement, tools for promoting healthy behaviours, and addressing substance abuse. The workshop demonstrates ways for engaging youth using a non-judgemental strengths-based approach. Attendees come away with tangible tools for helping youth examine the role of drugs and alcohol in their decision-making process related to substance use and abuse.
The ‘From “At-Risk” to Resilience’ toolkit was developed in order to provide adult allies (teachers, service providers) with the tools to engage youth in conversations about substance use, and promote discussions about how the decisions young people make today affect their future.
Toolkits are available for those interested in attending a training workshop, or scheduling a youth workshop where the YAP Coordinator can demonstrate the tools with a group of youth, and share information with the facilitator.
Blindsided by the Alcohol Industry?
Youth Action for Prevention partnered with the What’s Your Cap? student group at the University of Saskatchewan to develop this educational infographic. It can be shared to raise awareness regarding the influence of the alcohol industry on young women’s drinking behaviours. This infographic was released September 2016 as part of Recovery Day activities on campus.
Alcohol and Sexual Assault
Youth Action for Prevention partnered with the Sexual and Reproductive Health Program and the University of Saskatchewan student groups (USSU Women’s Centre, What’s Your Cap?, USSU Students’ Union) to develop an infographic for Sexual Assault Awareness Week on campus. This infographic can be shared to raise awareness regarding the connection between alcohol and sexual assault, and the importance of getting consent to all sexual acts.
Youth Health Community Grant Program
- CCSA (Canadian Standards for Youth Substance Abuse Prevention
- Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
- Canadian Harm Reduction Network
- Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
- Drug Class
- Girls, Women and Pregnancy
- Low Risk Drinking Guidelines
- Saskatchewan Addiction Research Chair
- Saskatchewan Ministry of Health
- National Anti-Drug Strategy
- The Students Commission: Centre for Youth Engagement
- What’s Your Cap?
COPE MAGAZINE – (DOWNLOAD OR ORDER)
HAMMERED: A SOBER LOOK AT YOUTH AND ALCOHOL – A FACILITATION GUIDE (DOWNLOAD ONLY)
HAMMERED PHOTOVOICE – DVD – (26 MIN.) -
(ORDER OR VIEW ONLINE)
HAMMERED: AFTER PARTY – MAGAZINE – (DOWNLOAD OR ORDER)
THANK YOU MOM – POSTER SERIES -
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FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER – FACT SHEET – (DOWNLOAD ONLY)
THANK YOU MOM – VIDEO -
(VIEW ONLY – SEE LINK BELOW)
HAMMERED: A SOBER LOOK AT YOUTH AND ALCOHOL – BOOKLET – (DOWNLOAD OR ORDER)