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Community organizations coming together to support teen health

Grade 10 students across North Bay and West Nipissing will have a chance to shape their future.

It’s all part of Planet Youth Nipissing, which the Nipissing Parry Sound District Health Unit says will issue voluntary surveys that will provide data to help communities better understand the lives of young people, what’s impacting their health and their well being.

The project is based on the Icelandic Prevention Model, an evidence-based, community-led approach that successfully reduced teen substance use in Iceland over a 20-year period.

Last year, the health unit says 68 community organizations, like police, school boards, HANDS, OUTLoud and more, heard from Planet Youth, and due to widespread interest, a coalition of members serving both communities was formed.

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The goal is to reduce teen substance abuse in our communities by fostering a community that promotes their well-being.

“Our children are our future. We are so excited to work in partnership with the coalition members in building a community that engages and encourages the growth and development of youth in West Nipissing,” said Mayor of West Nipissing, Kathleen Thorne Rochon.

Officials say the key element to Planet Youth’s success is its proactive and preventative strategy. By identifying risk factors and positive influences that impact the development of risky behaviors, it becomes possible to intervene early and make changes to the environment, where needed, for youth to thrive.

“I want to thank all the community partners who have come together to spearhead this project,” said Mayor of North Bay, Peter Chirico. “Our young people are our future, and providing support early on through this kind of initiative will help to empower them to overcome challenges and realize their full potential.”

For more information on Planet Youth Nipissing visit

Member organizations include the Canadian Mental Health Association North Bay and District, Children’s Aid Society Nipissing & Parry Sound, City of North Bay, Conseil scolaire catholique Franco-Nord, Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario, District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board, Hands, Municipality of West Nipissing, Near North District School Board, Nick’s Place For Us, Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board, Nipissing University, North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, North Bay Police Service, North Bay Regional Health Centre, OUTLoud North Bay, West Nipissing Community Health Centre, and YMCA of Northeastern Ontario.

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