The overall goal of this project was to assess the needs of youth in
rural Saskatchewan in order to encourage healthy lifestyles and reduce
risk behaviours. Very little information exists for rural Saskatchewan
or indeed rural western Canada about the particular issues facing rural
youth. The results of this project have informed a community consultation
about creating community plans to promote healthy lifestyles for rural
youth. It has also given service providers, parents and the general
public a better understanding of the issues facing youth in their local
What did we ask youth about?
The study focused on the following issues facing rural youth:
Youth were also asked to provide ideas on how to promote healthier lifestyle
- General health
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use
- Drug use (illegal, prescription and non-prescription drugs)
- Healthy eating and weight
- Physical activity
- Personal safety (seatbelt and bicycle helmet use, fighting, stolen
or damaged property, etc.)
- Depression and thoughts of suicide
What did we do?
The project involved a number of initiatives. These included:
A series of posters and fact sheets were produced in this project:
- Forming a steering committee with key community partners from health,
education social services and justice sectors.
- Interviews with key informants-professionals working as service
providers for rural youth dealing with substance abuse issues.
- A questionnaire administered in the classrooms of 954 youth in grades
7 to 12 in 34 schools in rural Saskatchewan, Canada
- Focus groups with 25 rural youth in three high schools who had participated
- Information nights in communities to present and discuss the results.
- Planning sessions with communities to develop strategies around
healthy lifestyles for rural youth.
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