Substance Use Snapshot Introduction - Sept 2018
 
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GVSD Substance Use Philosophy and Goals
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The Greater Victoria School District is committed to providing safe and healthy learning environments for all students. As part of our approach, we have been focusing on mental health and substance use topics to help us promote well-being in our schools.

Substance use is a complex topic that often highlights varied philosophies, myths, and a great deal of fear. The research shows us that early interventions, particularly around critical thinking and decision making, has an impact on delaying use in youth. As well, open dialogue with adults, intentionality around attachment, and a focus on the factors that contribute to substance use, as opposed to the actual substances, also prevent, delay and reduce substance use in our students.

Our goal is to create a more cohesive, systematized substance use plan focusing on social emotional learning, that includes our youth and schools, community partners, and families. We strive for a shared vision, common language and consistent messaging over time, in order to support positive youth culture and a healthy perspective on substance use and mental health.


Strategies for 2018-2019

ELEMENTARY

Additional Counsellors in schools (.5 or more) 

Support for Social Emotional Learning Programs (Second Step and Taxi Dog)

Youth & Family Counsellor and access to Discovery Addiction Counsellors at all schools

Social Emotional Wellness Advocates
 

MIDDLE

Mental Health Literacy Program for all Grade 8 students

SU Snapshots for Grade 8 students, staff and parents


Youth & Family Counsellor and access to Discovery Addiction Counsellors at all schools

Social Emotional Wellness Advocates



SECONDARY

Odd Squad videos and resource material on Fentanyl.  

SU Snapshots for all students, staff and parents


Youth & Family Counsellor and access to Discovery Addiction Counsellors at all schools

Social Emotional Wellness Advocates
Substance Use Focus Snapshot Themes
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Results from Parent Survey
In early March 2018, the Learning Support Team asked parents for feedback on substance use, we had
821 parents respond. Most parents wished communication about substance use to be through email.
Survey results included:
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There was an equal representation of parents with students in grades 8 - 12 (approximately 20% for each grade).
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Most parents responded that they had very little concern for their own child's use and did not  see peer pressure as a significant contributor affecting use for their child.
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Topics of most concern or interest have become themes for  later Snapshots (see SU Focus Snapshot Themes Calendar above). The  "Other" category  included death, overdose, and fentanyl as greatest concern.
Resources for schools   families discussing substance use and mental health with youth
Through a Harm Reduction Lens
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General Harm Reduction Strategies:

1.  Avoid, Delay, Reduce Use

2.  Don't Use Alone

3.  Carry Naloxone, if around Opioids 

(To access training and kits:  ( Toward the Heart)