Program gets Health Canada funding

Ian Jacques/Editor / Staff writer
March 1, 2014 01:00 AM

The Roberts Creek Community School Society received some good news late last week as their proposal Mind the Gap - Building Bridges for Youth in Transition was approved for funding under the drug strategy community initiatives fund through Health Canada.

The project activities are designed to promote positive mental health, resiliency and well-being in children and youth during major life transitions.

"This is a great thing for not only us, but for the whole school district," said Stacia Leech with the Roberts Creek Community School Society. "This intervention will be taking place throughout the school district. We are working with the kids, the teachers and the parents through this program, so your chances of reaching everyone is greater and we can impact many people in very positive ways."

Using a social emotional learning (SEL) approach at those transition points, it is possible to influence the developmental pathways, reduce individual risk factors and increase protective factors to prevent drug use among youth.

The project activities will take place during a 30-month period, from now through June 2016, and will deliver capacity-building programs and training to more than 300 School District No. 46 (SD46) students, in grades seven to 12.

In 2015, anxiety and stress-reduction programs will also be made available to first year students at Capilano University.

Other project activities involve the delivery of mindfulness-based stress-reduction training for teachers and families, and a teen residential mindfulness retreat.

Project partners include SD46, Vancouver Coastal Health, Capilano University, Sechelt Community School, the Ministry of Children and Families and Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, department of educational and counselling psychology at the University of British Columbia.

The Roberts Creek Community School Society will manage the project.

"I am confident that your project will contribute to the achievement of the goals of the drug strategy community initiatives fund," added federal Minister of Health Rona Ambrose in a news release.

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