Pubdate: Sat, 20 May 2006
Source: Regina Leader-Post (CN SN)
Copyright: 2006 The Leader-Post Ltd.
Author: Pamela Cowan, The Leader Post
Bookmark: (Youth)


Newly hired Project Hope consultants are already working on
"pre-emptive strikes" to deter youths from substance abuse.

Around the province, 11 Population Health/Project Hope consultants are
currently focusing on health promotion and prevention initiatives.
They will be joined by two more consultants who are being hired.

"They're really working at some of the root causes (of substance
abuse)," said Karen Gibbons, the director of program supports with the
Community Care branch of Saskatchewan Health.

"They're not treating addicted youth. They're working with communities
and with other partners to address issues that contribute to substance
abuse and addiction -- this is a pre-emptive strike."

The consultants come from a wide variety of backgrounds including
social work, recreation and public health.

"If there is an issue in a community of kids getting into trouble
after school because there's nothing to do, these consultants would be
instrumental in bringing the community together to solve the problem,"
Gibbons said. "They're also working on good mental health with youths."

All the health regions have population health promotions strategies
that have four key goals: Nutrition, building stronger communities for
healthier living, addressing substance abuse, and mental well-being.

"Each of the regions has a strategy to promote health and target those
four areas," she said.

In 2006-07, $80,000 is to be allocated to each of Saskatoon, Regina
Qu'Appelle, Five Hills, Prince Albert Parkland, Mamawetan Churchill
River and Keewatin Yatthe health regions; and $70,000 has been
allocated to each of Heartland, Kelsey Trail, Cypress, Sun Country,
Sunrise and Prairie North health regions.

"These are new resources for the regions to help them with their
plans," Gibbons said. "We're really excited about it because we often
don't get resources upfront like this -- they're usually at the
treatment end ... Watch for new initiatives."

Project Hope is a three-year plan using a comprehensive, integrated
approach for the prevention and treatment of substance abuse. 
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MAP posted-by: SHeath(DPF Florida)