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Partnerships at Work: Collaboration between Alternatives for Youth and the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board 43rd Annual Addictions Ontario Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "Partnerships at Work: Collaboration between Alternatives for Youth and the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board 43rd Annual Addictions Ontario Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 Partnerships at Work: Collaboration between Alternatives for Youth and the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board 43rd Annual Addictions Ontario Conference Sue Kennedy, Executive Director AY/Alternatives for Youth David Hoy, Manager of Social Work Hamilton Wentworth District School Board Monday May 30 st, 2011

2 This presentation will share: The innovative work happening within Hamilton within the context of secondary school students who are substance involved How we are conducting systems planning and community development work The model of collaboration between Alternatives for Youth and the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board

3 History For the past 20 years Addiction Counsellors from AY have been providing substance abuse counselling on-site at the HWDSB. Historically AY and HWDSB have had a longstanding ad-hoc partnership AY decided to embrace the Best Practice of providing service to youth where youth are and expanded its service across 10 secondary schools across our region Most recently HWDSB and AY formalized the partnership and author a Third Party Agreement

4 History continued… In 2008, the Student Support Leadership Initiative was implemented with the aim of improving integrated services for students with mental health and substance use concerns increasing local capacity to support students support system planning at the local level HWDSB and AY were well positioned to be active participants in the initiative

5 Partnership Philosophy A partnership is a mutually beneficial, reciprocal supportive arrangement between a school or school board and a community service provider Partnerships are the relationships that add human or material resources through services/supports that ultimately lead to improved student learning

6 Philosophy Continued Through partnerships we seek to improve school programs, school climate as well as providing services to our families and students Ultimately, well functioning, healthy individuals are able to make contributions to the betterment of our community

7 Terms of Partnership HWDSB Refer students to the Alternatives for Youth counsellor who may benefit from drug counselling as per Alternatives for Youth referral protocol Provide consultation to Alternatives for Youth counsellors and work collaboratively with Alternatives for Youth counsellors to support student needs

8 Terms of Partnership cont’d HWDSB Coordinate training opportunities for Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board staff by Alternatives for Youth counsellors Collaborate with AY executive staff for the purpose of partnership review, development and evaluation

9 Terms of Partnership AY: Provide an Alternatives for Youth counsellor who has expertise in the area of substance abuse assessment, treatment, referral and case management Provide substance abuse education to students and their families in the context of the school culture

10 Terms of Partnerships cont’d AY: Provide substance abuse consultation education and support to school Administrators Student services educators Social Workers Educational assistants Liaise with other community professionals providing service in the school e.g. PHN

11 Terms of Partnership Cont’d Provide individualized treatment intervention for those students who are referred as a result of suspension related to substance use Substance abuse education may also be delivered within the classroom setting upon request and in conjunction with other health prevention professionals(PHN).

12 Outcomes: Students will be more informed and better educated about their decision/choice concerning substance use and how such activity may adversely affect educational progress, personal functioning and relationships Staff will have a better understanding of student substance abuse, recognize indicators of substance misuse and be able to access appropriate support for students through AY

13 Alternatives for Youth AY Opened its doors in 1969 Community treatment for children and youth ages who are substance involved Provide assessment, treatment planning, evidence informed interventions, referral and follow-up in a harm reduction framework Comprehensive psychiatric assessment, consultation, and treatment for youth with concurrent disorders

14 Risk Factors for Adolescent Substance Use Family History: Parental drug use Quality of family relationships, organization and communication Ineffective parenting or absence of Intimacy and stability(disengagement/enmeshment)

15 Risk Factors Cont’d Early Anti-social Behaviour the greater the variety, frequency and seriousness: the greater the likelihood of drug abuse e.g. rebelliousness, temperament, social isolation, impulsivity, early learning related difficulties, early onset on drug use

16 Risk Factors cont’d Peers Association with drug using peers during adolescence Perceived use of drugs by other adolescents Peer influence-the great debate-do friends negatively influence friends or do friends gravitate toward those who share their own values and beliefs

17 Risk Factors cont’d Attitudes, Beliefs, Personality Traits Alienation Rebelliousness Risk-taking Non-conformity Resistance to traditional authority

18 Challenges with student population of drug users Acute ambivalence toward their own drug use Influence of significant others in seeking treatment Understanding use a problem in itself and in context of situational issues Provocative, challenging and testing behaviours

19 Substance Use Trends in Student Population In the general student population the most frequent substances used continue to be alcohol,cannabis and tobacco-local public health survey and support provincial averages 66%use alcohol 30%use cannabis 19% use tobacco

20 Student Use of Substances continued-The Rainbow Party Opioids Benzodiazepines Sedatives Solvents Cocaine Hallucinogens Anabolic Steroids Club Drugs Sedatives GHB Stimulants- amphetamine(speed) Hallucinogenic stimulants MDMA(ecstasy) Dissociative anaesthetics (ketamine, PCP)

21 Substance Use Continuum AY counsellors support youth across the substance use continuum : Experimental use: Irregular use: Regular use Dependant use Harmful Use

22 Interventions that work AY counsellors assess appropriately and tailor intervention accordingly-not a one size fits all. Early intervention and education Harm Reduction Monitoring Assessment Treatment

23 Goals: Enhance motivation for change Prevent further involvement in substance use Reverse involvement in substance use Reduce harm from substance use

24 Youth and Concurrent Disorders AY counsellors have received referrals for students diagnosed with a mental health disorder who are substance involved: Five most common are: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Conduct Disorder Depression and Bipolar Social Anxiety Disorder Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

25 Concurrent Disorder Intervention Students who are referred to AY counsellor can support a referral to the AY consulting child and adolescent psychiatrist who will: Provide a comprehensive psychiatric assessment Prescribe medications in consultation with GP Provide direct consultation with student, AY counsellor to make treatment recommendations and implement integrated treatment plan AY counsellors monitor and support youth

26 Benefits Timely access to necessary substance abuse and mental health services, Services provided on-site at school ensuring flexibility and customized treatment options Students can be empowered to direct their own treatment plan(readiness) Parents and caregivers of students have increased access to community supports

27 Challenges Forging relationships between agency counsellors and school educators takes time and commitment Balancing harm reduction approach within the parameters of safe-schools legislation Working with diverse staff and individual cultures within each school Supporting a school climate that the supports the de-stigmatization of mental health and substance abuse.

28 Questions and Answers? Contact Information Sue Kennedy Executive Director, Alternatives for Youth David Hoy, Manager of Social Work Hamilton Wentworth District School Board


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