The New Brunswick government announced a pilot project on Tuesday aimed at helping communities find ways to reduce substance use among youth.
In a release, the province said it will commit $255,000 to the project every year for the next five years.
“We are following through on our commitment to help reduce substance use among young people,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch.
“The next generation of New Brunswickers has a bright future ahead. By working together as communities, we can help them be more resilient and reach their full potential.”
The project is in collaboration with Planet Youth, an Icelandic research company credited with lowering substance use in Iceland over the past 20 years.
“We believe that the strength of a community is based on the well-being of the people who live there,” said Pall Ríkhardsson, CEO of Planet Youth.
“That is core to the aims of Planet Youth, to improve the future of youth through an adaptable process that is data-driven, evidence-informed and focused on prevention and upstream solutions.”
The program aims to strengthen protective factors, mitigate risk factors and build healthy communities through family, peer groups, extracurricular activities and school well-being.
Saint John, Woodstock, Kent County and the Acadian Peninsula were chosen as the four sites. The project begins this fall with the development of community action teams at each site.