In a new article, co-authors Deinera Exner-Cortens, Lana Wells, Lianne Lee, and Vanja Spiric describe the design and implementation of the widely successful Alberta Healthy Youth Relationships (HYR) Strategy led by Shift in partnership with Western University’s Centre for School Mental Health.
As outlined in the article, a driving force for the success of HYR was the creation of a policy climate that favoured primary prevention practices to reduce instances of teen dating violence. Once this policy climate was established, Shift and their provincial partners, implemented three programs in 40 school divisions to help youth build their skills and capacity to form healthy relationships. From 2012 to 2017, over 62,000 youth in grades 7-9, 900 teachers, 850 parents, and 1300 adults that work with youth were engaged in the programs. By the end of 2018, the numbers nearly doubled to include 100,000 middle-school students and 3500 youth workers.
Building a culture of intimate partner violence prevention in Alberta, Canada through the promotion of healthy youth relationships was published in Prevention Science.