CAMH is teaming up with the Chiefs of Ontario (COO) and the
Ontario First Nations Young Peoples Council to address the harmful use of
prescription opioids among First Nation youth.
CAMH’s Provincial System Support Program’s Opiate Awareness,
Treatment and Education (OpiATE) project, which has identified the need to
engage youth in developmental activities, provided support to the COO for a
public education campaign that highlights how youth in First Nation communities
are addressing the issues of prescription drug misuse.
The campaign, created to promote a positive image of First
Nations youth, consists of a 60 second Public Service Announcement (PSA) and an eight minute documentary filmed at the Ontario First Nations Youth Meeting on Health earlier this year. Produced largely by the young people
themselves, it includes interviews with youth who speak about the life
challenges they are facing and how they are overcoming adversity.
Renee Linklater, CAMH’s Manager of Aboriginal Community
Engagement says, “the opportunity to collaborate with the Chiefs of Ontario has
provided an exciting opportunity to support First Nations youth. These public
education tools will provide great resources for education and training, and
more so, provide important messages to society.”
Renee says this campaign demonstrates that First Nations
youth in Ontario
are taking an active role in generating a youth-driven response to the
prescription drug issues in their communities and are very concerned about the
impact of addiction. She expects the PSA and video will be disseminated to a
wide audience across the country and hopes they will be screened at film
Regional Chief Stan Beardy with G’mewin
Migwans, M’Chigeeng First Nation. (Photo Courtesy of Chiefs of Ontario)
Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy says, “I am very proud of
the young leadership in our communities. They clearly demonstrate the honesty,
creativity, talent and contributions of a truly exceptional group of youth. It
is my hope that these productions will inspire all young people to strive for
success in their lives."