The West Vancouver Substance Misuse and Prevention Initiative is a partnership of West Vancouver Schools and the Municipality of West Vancouver. The initiative is aimed at reducing the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs by youth in West Vancouver.
In 2002, the West Vancouver Board of School Trustees worked with parents and other stakeholders in the community to establish a consultative committee to assess the issue of youth substance use in West Vancouver. In June of 2002, this committee established a list of recommendations to help guide prevention efforts. A consultant was hired in September of 2003 to develop and implement a substance misuse prevention plan.
Programs and activities are being implemented for parents and schools and we continue to work with community organizations to help prevent substance misuse in our community.
- To prevent or delay the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs by youth in West Vancouver.
- To reduce alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among youth who presently use substances.
To this end, Kerrie Watt, a Drug & Alcohol Prevention Educator with Vancouver Coastal Health, is working four days a week with our school district and with the municipality of West Vancouver as a Prevention Consultant. Kerrie continues to move forward with the district plan and is part of our District Healthy Schools Committee that focuses on all aspects of student health.
We will also continue to work extensively with Terry Bulych in her role as Team Leader of Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions at 15th Street Youth Services. Kerrie and Terry will be very valuable resource people for our district on thsi important topic.
District Healthy Schools Committee
The District Healthy Schools Committee’s mandate is to make the school district as health literate and as health-promoting as possible. Representatives from stakeholder groups and community organizations sit on this committee, and help guide the implementation of policies, procedures, and curriculum related to healthy schools promotion.
Committee members include representatives from the District of West Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health, the West Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC), West Vancouver Municipal Employees Association (WVMEA) and the West Vancouver Teachers’ Association (WVTA).
The Substance Misuse and Prevention Sub-Committee is a sub-committee of the District Healthy Schools Committee, with a focus on:
- Strategies to assist West Vancouver Schools and the District of West Vancouver to implement plans to prevent and reduce substance misuse, and
- To educate school and community leaders about best practice research surrounding alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention.