Upcoming Webinar (Mar 5): Applying Evidence to Health Promotion Practices and Policies

Applying Evidence to Health Promotion Practices and Policies is part two of the series,Youth Substance Use: From Developmental Pathways to Policy Development. In the first webinar, we established how the developmental pathways of adolescents interface with their use of alcohol and other drugs.

In this second webinar, we continue the consideration of youth as a priority population and examine how evidence can be applied to health promotion practices and policies, and the link between policy and service delivery. This webinar will start off by introducing the substance abuse continuum of service. There will be a particular emphasis on the gaps that exist in services for youth. Participants will also learn the implications that policy can have across different levels in the continuum of service. The presenters will discuss the on-the-ground implications of policy for youth, with a particular focus on cannabis policy.


Flyer for Twitter Webinar 2

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Upcoming Webinar (Feb 10th) – Pathways to Youth Substance Use: Evidence and Implications

PAD is partnering with HC Link to deliver a two-part series on youth substance use, featuring exciting speakers from the Canadian Center on Substance Abuse and the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Sick Kids.

See the flyer below for more details and register by February 5th at  http://bit.ly/1yEOlHO !

Stay tuned for more details about part two!

Flyer for twitter

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Government of Ontario Releases the 2014 Strategic Framework to Help Ontario’s Youth Succeed

Today, the Government of Ontario released the first annual report of Stepping Up: A Strategic Framework to Help Ontario’s Youth Succeed. The report is the first to develop a ‘roadmap’ to how government and service providers can help support Ontario’s youth. The report highlights key priorities and will inform decision-making, as well as program delivery and design for Ontario youth in the future.

Stepping Up is focused around seven ‘Themes of Youth Well-Being’:

  • Health and Wellness
  • Strong, Supportive Friends and Families
  • Education, Training and Apprenticeship
  • Employment and Entrepreneurship
  • Diversity, Social Inclusion and Safety
  • Civic Engagement and Youth Leadership
  • Coordinated and Youth-Friendly Communities

The report is extremely relevant to the work PAD does, and provides great information that will help inform our work as well.

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PAD presents at 2014 Children’s Mental Health Ontario conference

On November 25th, Seher from PAD attended the 2014 Children Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) conference titled “Getting it Right for Kids and Families” at the Marriot Hotel in Toronto. I attended on behalf of PAD, and we had a poster presentation on display titled Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth: Engaging Diverse Youth in a Family-Based, Skills-Building Approach.

CMHO Seher Nov 25

More details about the conference can be found on the HC Link blog!



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PAD Strategic Plan: 2015-2019

PAD launched our Strategic Plan at our AGM in September.  The plan was developed at an all-Board/all-Staff retreat and will form the basis of PAD’s program and organizational development in the next five years.

We undertook strategic planning with a staff-Board planning committee to study the environment in which PAD operates, our strategic planning needs,  and the engagement of a consultant/facilitator, culminating in an all-staff-board one and a half day retreat at the Ontario Lung Association headquarters.  This activity was extremely productive and we are very proud of the plan which was formulated and will form the basis of our Board and Staff work for the next five years. The plan highlights new and innovative directions for our organization, such as developing an outreach strategy to engage the input of youth and families on an ongoing basis, as well as strengthening our current service delivery and our areas of expertise.  We look forward to reporting on our accomplishments each year.

Take a look at the full strategic plan here.

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Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey: Ontario Students and Their Mental Health Needs

On November 10th, 2014, CAMH organized a webinar to review the highlights of the results from the 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS). The OSDUHS was started in 1977, making it Canada’s longest ongoing student survey. It also happens to be the longest in the world! The survey is conducted every two years, and looks at mental health, drug use, physical health, bullying and other risky behaviours among students who are in grades 7-12.

The webinar discussed some alarming results about Ontario students’ emotional and mental health indicators. For example, over 14% of students self-rated their own mental health as only “fair” or “poor”, as opposed to “good”, “very good”, or “excellent”. Females were significantly more likely than males to rate their mental health as “fair” or “poor”. Further, over one quarter reported a moderate to high level of psychological distress during the past month. Again, females were twice as likely to report psychological distress than males. Even more alarmingly, over 13% of students said they had seriously contemplated suicide over the past one year, while 3.5% actually attempted it within the past year. Once again, female students were twice as likely to contemplate and attempt suicide than their male counterparts. The survey results consistently showed that data for female students was very different than for males, indicating a potential need to have gender-specific programs for teens.

What does this mean for Ontario’s youth mental health? Although the majority of Ontario students report good (or better) mental health, this data clearly shows that there are gaps that need to be filled. Increased mental health services aimed at teenagers in particular may be part of the solution. For example, PAD’s Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth (SFPY) program has been proven to produce better mental health outcomes in teens. Learn more about the SFPY program at sfpy-pad.org, or check it out on Twitter at @_sfpy.

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Preventing Teen Drug Use: Why Parental Affection Matters

A study by the European Institute of Studies on Prevention (IREFREA) looked at how parenting styles influence teenager drug use (alcohol, tobacco, cannabis) .  After interviews with 7,718 youth between the ages of 11-19, it turns out that showing affection, emotions and understanding are very important factors in keeping teenagers from using drugs.

The study looked at four types of parenting styles: authoritative (warm yet strict), authoritarian (strict and not warm), neglectful (neither warm nor strict), and indulgent (warm but not strict). An authoritative model of parenting is where parents “give clear rules and affectionately and flexibly reason with the children when asking for their compliance”, whereas parents in an authoritarian model are less affectionate. Parents in the indulgent and neglectful models have a low level of control over their children. The indulgent model, where parents openly show affection and understanding, was previously seen to be permissive and not as effective, but this new study shows that even an indulgent parenting style can prevent drug use.

In the past, it has been found that “adolescents from authoritative households use less illegal drugs, are more resilient, achieve better academic performance, have better psychological competence, and better adaptive strategies, and are less involved in the broad-spectrum of behaviour problems”. In indulgent and authoritative households, an environment of dialogue, acceptance, and affection also encourages increased self-confidence. This likely leads to increased youth resiliency and prevention of drug use. Keeping that in mind, PAD’s Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth (SFPY) teaches families how to build the skills that will create understanding and affectionate relationships. Check out our SFPY website for more info!

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2014 Annual General Meeting of Parent Action on Drugs

2014 Annual General Meeting of Parent Action on Drugs

Monday, September 29, 2014

6:30 p.m. for Supper / 7:00 p.m. Program

North York Memorial Community Hall, Burgundy Room, 5110 Yonge Street, Toronto


Introduction of PAD’s Strategic Plan: Leading the Way to Stronger Youth and Families – 2015 – 2019

 Presentation: Adding Value – PAD’s Role in HC Link

Business meeting to follow

Guests Welcome      

RSVP by September 22nd, 2014: call (416) 395-4970 or email pad@parentactionondrugs.org 

Directions to the North York Memorial Hall – North York Memorial Community Hall is located at 5110 Yonge St., just steps away from North York Civic Centre and North York Centre subway station on the Yonge line.  It’s on the lower level below the Central Branch of the Toronto Public Library.   Parking is available off of Beecroft Rd.   http://goo.gl/maps/BnfNH

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Building Community Capacity for SFPY in English and French!

combined logo PAD is very excited to be working on three projects to introduce, train and support multiple implementations of SFPY across the province – in both English and French.


Drug Strategy Communities Initiation Fund (Health Canada)

We are well into the implementation phase of our Health Canada funded project:  Building Community Capacity to Increase Youth Resiliency through a Strengthening Families Model.  In this project we are working with 9 regional partners across Ontario in Kenora, Pembroke, Waterloo and county,Dunnville, Sarnia, Kingston, Peterborough and Toronto.


Canada-Ontario Agreement on French Language Services (Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care)

Working in conjunction with Health Nexus, we have translated the SFPY curriculum into French and are working with and advisory committee to pilot SFPY within diverse Francophone communities in Ontario.  Community agencies in Nipissing and Sudbury are piloting the curriculum in the coming year.


Toronto Urban Health Fund

Working directly with La Passerelle in Toronto, we will be implementing SFPY with newcomer Francophone families in Toronto and considering ways to implement SFPY with other diverse newcomer families as the next step.

We are developing a training package, an implementation tool kit, a coordinator handbook and many more support materials for these cycles.

Our team includes Andrea Zeelie-Varga, Sylvie Boulet, Joanne Brown, Diane Buhler, Estelle Duchon,  Kyley Alderson and Kathy Baillie.  Together we are committed to ensuring we provide our community partners with the utmost support needed to build the bases for sustaining this amazing program across Ontario.

As always, we would like to recognized Dr. Karol Kumpfer who developed the Strengthening Families Program and built the evidence base for this program through extended research and global application.

For additional information and to keep up-to-date on our project developments, go to:  pad-sfpy.org or follow along on Twitter wish #SFPY.

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Overwhelming LCBO customer support for PAD

Donation boxes for Parent Action on Drugs were displayed at LCBO checkout counters for the month of April. Customers donated $12,019.43 to support PAD!

Donated funds aid the development and delivery of important resources that focus on the information that teens need to keep themselves – and their friends – safe and let parents know how they can be prepared to deal with the issue of alcohol and teens.

We appreciate all support we receive through the LCBO Coin Box Donation program!

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