Toolkit - Youth Engagement

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How can we help young people make decisions that support their health and well-being today and in the future while avoiding behaviours - like substance misuse and sexual risk-taking - that put them in harm’s way? This is a question asked by the many people who care about young people, including parents, teachers, researchers, youth workers, public health professionals, social workers, and young people themselves. Research-based and practice-based evidence in youth health promotion is increasingly pointing away from trying to prevent specific risk behaviours such as substance misuse and sexual risk-taking through education and awareness-based approaches, and towards solutions that strengthen young people’s resilience and enhance the protective factors in the environments in which they live, learn, and play. Youth engagement is increasingly seen as an important strategy for promoting young people’s health and development. This resource was developed by the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) to support public health professionals in using youth engagement as a strategy to promote young people’s health. It is also relevant for schools, community agencies, parents, and others who want to improve the lives, health, and well-being of young people.


Jessica Bleur, Lia De Pauw, Michelle Langlois, Natalyn Tremblay, Tina Wadham

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