The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit has received funds from Health Canada to create a Drug Awareness website aimed at local area youth.
The project aims to increase awareness among youth of the harms of drug use and to build resiliency skills and offer alternatives. Due to the large geographical area and limited transportation within Haldimand and Norfolk Counties, a website will be created for all youth to access either from school, home or County libraries.
According to the 2007 Ontario Student Drug Use Survey (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), Central South Region students (which includes Haldimand and Norfolk Counties) in grades 9 to 12 continue to experiment with substances at concerning rates. This survey tells us that 75% of students have used alcohol within the past year, with 35% of students admitting to binge drinking. Fourteen percent of youth have experimented with illicit substances excluding cannabis, where the rate of cannabis use in the past year equaled 31%.
Local data was collected in 2003 to determine the extent of substance use among Haldimand and Norfolk County youth specifically. Results strongly support the need to focus on prevention efforts. Student Health Survey highlights include 41% of students in grades 9 and 11 reported drinking alcohol in the past four weeks, of which 40% in grade 11 reported binge drinking at least once in the past four weeks. The proportion of students using cannabis at least once doubled between grade 9 (26%) and grade 11 (52%). And 13% of grade 9 and 11 students had used other drugs such as cocaine, hallucinogens, or a designer drug in their life time.
The proposed project is a youth-friendly information website created with youth input which follows the principles identified by Health Canada (2001) in "Preventing Substance Use Problems Among Young People: A Compendium of Best Practices" as effective for substance use problem prevention programs for youth:
- Address protective factors, risk factors and resiliency
- Ensure sufficient program duration and intensity
- Base program on accurate information
- Set clear and realistic goals and monitor and evaluate the program
- Involve youth in program design and implementation
- Recognize youth perceptions of substance use
- Combine knowledge and skill development
- Use an interactive group process
The goal of the project is to reduce disability, morbidity and mortality caused by alcohol and other substances among Haldimand and Norfolk County youth aged 13-18 years. The overall purpose of the project is to raise awareness and build resiliency in a youth-friendly manner with regards to various substances.
- To determine the attitudes and perceptions of youth (age 13-18 years) in Haldimand and Norfolk Counties concerning: alcohol and other drugs, number of youth using drugs, and community support services available.
- To develop a youth-friendly website to provide youth (age 13-18 years), especially hard-to-reach-youth, information about the harms of substance use, resiliency building techniques and alternatives, as well as access to local support services.
- To offer youth (13-18 years) access to Addictions Counsellors anonymously via email.
- To promote the youth-friendly website within Haldimand and Norfolk Counties to increase awareness of substance use harms and increase access to support services.
- To evaluate the effectiveness of the website and disseminate the results to partnering organizations.
Phase 1: July- December 2009
- Design a focus testing tool and protocol that will be used to determine the attitudes and perceptions of youth concerning : alcohol and other drugs, number of youth using drugs, community support services available and website likes/dislikes.
- Recruitment of area youth to participate in the focus groups (including obtaining appropriate permission from local school boards).
- Pilot test the focus test tool and make appropriate changes.
- Conduct the focus tests (minimum of 6) across Haldimand and Norfolk Counties according to the protocol.
- Analyze the results of the research and write a report with recommendations for the website development.
- Work collaboratively during this process with Health Unit Epidemiologist, Program Coordinator and Health Promoter, Substance Abuse Prevention.
Phase 2 and Phase 3
Phase 2 involves the actual development of the website and Phase 3 involves the evaluation of the website. These contracts will be awarded at a later date.
- Masters prepared Health Promotion background is preferred, however an Undergraduate degree in Health Promotion (or related field) will be considered.
- experience in research and evaluation, especially community-based evaluation.
- experience in developing and conducting focus groups
- experience working with youth would be an asset
- excellent written skills and demonstrated experience in consolidating research findings into a user friendly document
- excellent verbal communication skills, particularly facilitation skills
- demonstrated ability to meet timelines
- Submission Requirements:
- a resume that clearly demonstrates how your experiences reflect the key qualifications required
- a detailed plan and description of how the requested deliverables will be executed
- a breakdown of costs
- the names and contact information of two references
- sample of written work would be an asset
Deadline for submission of proposals is Monday June 8, 2009 by 4:30 pm.
Please send your proposals to:
Population Health Team
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
12 Gilbertson Drive, P.O. Box 247
Simcoe, ON N3Y 4L1
Release of RFP: May 15, 2009
Deadline for submission of proposals: June 8, 2009, by 4:30 p.m.
Proposal Review Completed by June 22, 2009
Successful candidate notified: June 26, 2009
Project start date: July 2, 2009
Report completed by: December 31, 2009
Quotations for Phase 1 should not exceed $15,000
Questions regarding the RFP and the project may be directed to: Jill Steen at (519) 426-6170 ext. 3238 or [email protected].