Past Youth Volunteer Projects

Contact(s)

Moving on Up! Health Unit Youth Volunteers Take the Lead in Fostering Awareness about Health

 

The Be Well Conference: Building Resilient Youth for Tomorrow

On Wednesday, May 16, 2018,  ten North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit Youth Volunteers hosted the Be Well Conference with the support of local school boards. This youth-led mental health and wellness conference:

  • focused on educating youth about a wide range of topics via a mental health lens
  • addressed protective factors for ensuring good mental health
  • aimed to build youth resiliency

Approximately, seventy-five students and fifteen community partners from the North Bay area were in attendance at the Be Well Conference. The day was filled with a wide range of interactive activities from morning ice breakers to lunchtime community partner booths. The opening ceremonies led by two youth volunteers welcomed everyone to the event. This was followed by a keynote  address from Jack.org, an organization that strives to foster awareness about the importance of mental health.

Auditorium with students listening to a lecture

Morning workshops were co-planned and co-facilitated by youth volunteers and community partners covering topics such as stigma, healthy relationships and leadership. Afternoon workshops were led by community partners and focused solely on positive ways of dealing with stress. This included activities such as yoga, painting and martial arts.

Health Unit Youth Volunteers were involved in nearly every aspect of the planning and implementation of the Be Well Conference enabling them to enhance their leadership, communication and decision making skills. As one youth noted “the main skill that [I] developed through this process [was] definitely public speaking. Public speaking is something that I have struggled with my whole life and brought a lot of anxiety when I realized it was something that I had to do at this conference. However, this conference brought me out of my comfort zone and I have since gained a lot of confidence with my presentation skills.”

Overall, the Be Well Conference was a huge success with 82% of participants surveyed reporting that the one-day event increased their understanding of mental health and wellness.

Be sure to check out the media coverage of this event below!

CTV News: https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1396017

The Nugget: http://www.nugget.ca/2018/05/17/washroom-safety-a-key-topic-at-youth-led-mental-health-conference

The Bay Today: https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/be-well-conference-takes-a-look-at-mental-health-issues-facing-students-926618

 

For Youth-by-Youth Anti-Vaping Campaign

The volunteers wanted to inform youth in the North Bay Parry Sound District about the potential health risks of using e-cigarettes. This is an emerging public health topic, so the youth were supported to develop evidence-informed key messages. Information was shared at an event is currently being shared via several other communication channels, including the Health Unit website, social media, a video, and print resources. The impact of this campaign is as follows:

  • The two Instagram ads reached 2,550 and 1,076 people respectively, and the three Facebook posts each reached over 400 people.
  • Volunteers engaged with 31 youth in person at a local conference event to discuss their key messages.
  • Print resources were shared at the conference and with a local high school.
  • The video is currently being finalized and will be shared on the Health Unit’s YouTube channel.

made for youth by youth anti vaping image

Anti vaping candy

One youth is quoted saying: “I liked volunteering at the Health Unit because I got to meet a lot of new people and interact with them. We all had some laughs especially when I was included in a film. I couldn’t stop laughing but I’ve never been in a film before so to also try something new is a cool experience. I also felt like I had a job and I felt responsible.”

 

Be sure to check out coverage of this campaign in The Nugget!

http://www.nugget.ca/2018/05/11/youth-launch-vaping-ed-campaign

 

Smoke-Free Beaches Project: A Youth-Led Initiative

Youth volunteers at the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit began the smoke-free beaches initiative to help prevent the negative health and environmental impacts of smoking on beaches, and to address confusion around whether or not smoking is allowed on beaches. Health Unit staff and youth volunteers conducted public opinion surveys and completed observational tools at beaches in the North Bay Parry Sound district in 2016. Youth volunteers also helped with data entry and consulted with a Health Unit staff member on the final report.

beach with a pile of cigarette butts

 

After-School Nutrition and Physical Activity Programming

The youth volunteers created and facilitated nutrition and physical activity workshops for elementary students during the after-school programs at St. Alexander School and E.T. Carmichael Public School in North Bay. The youth had a chance to work with students in grades 1 through 6, providing them with hands-on activities that increased their knowledge about different areas of health. Activities included a food serving poster activity, “shopping” for healthy foods simulation and debrief, trivia challenge and physical activity movement station. The program concluded with a nutrition and physical activity scavenger hunt that reinforced what students learned. Overall, the students that participated were engaged and had a great time. They were especially grateful to take away a “healthy living” goodie bag that the youth volunteers put together.

A group of children gather around a chart on a wall

 

Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week

For Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week (February 12-18, 2017), the youth volunteers wanted to raise awareness about sexual health topics important to their age group. Communication tools such as heart messages, a PowerPoint presentation and social media messages about sexual health were created with the assistance of the Sexual Health team. Materials were distributed to secondary schools in the North Bay Parry Sound area; eight of which utilized the materials to promote positive sexual and reproductive health throughout the week. This campaign was important to the youth volunteers as they felt that it was important to spread the message on where youth can access services to promote positive sexual health.

North Bay

345 Oak Street West
705-474-1400

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302
705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)
1-800-563-2808