A new co-ordinator based in La Ronge will work with young people in northern communities to become leaders when it comes to lifestyle choices.
Donna Banach was hired by the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute last week as part of the Youth Action for Prevention Program. The funding for the position was made possible with financial support from the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) with a $100,000 investment, as well as in-kind support from the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Corrections and Policing. According to Program Manager Lee Hinton, Banach will solely focus on reaching out to northern youth.
“We help adults understand the importance of engaging with youth and the importance of having the youth lead activities and any awareness events they want to with the adult’s support,” she said. “The other side is providing opportunities for youth to have these discussions and start understanding some of the information behind decisions, then to bring back the information in a way they think will engage other youth in their communities.”
Hinton noted part of the reason the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute was awarded the funding for the new position was due to lobbying from members of the Community Alcohol Management Plan, adding they approached SLGA and requested the extra dollars. With previously only one co-ordinator covering the entire province, Hinton stated the institute will be able to do more youth engagement with the extra employee.
In the coming months, part of Banach’s role will be to reach out to youth in northern communities either at schools or other places and let them know about the services and programs she provides. Some of the topics Banach can address include alcohol and drug use, healthy relationships, sexual violence and more.
“It’s not a therapy program or anything like that,” Hinton said. “It's youth coming together who want to take a leadership role in helping other youth to think about making those lifestyle choices and their health.”
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