Harm Reduction Strategies at Algonquin College – NEW MHIF
This project will create a sustainable, college-wide program to provide harm reduction strategies related to substance use. In a 2013 national survey, 70 percent of Canadian postsecondary students reported using an intoxicant in the past 30 days. Substance use among postsecondary students has been linked to increased risks for violence, sexual assault and harassment, driving while intoxicated, and visits to hospital. CAMH reports that that 37 percent of people diagnosed with an alcohol disorder will also experience a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. This jumps to 53 percent for people diagnosed with a substance use disorder other than alcohol. Yet, less than 1 percent of students report that they have accessed treatment for substance abuse. The project goals will be accomplished through:
- A college-wide campaign focused on awareness, risk, and harm reduction strategies
- Training and consultation with college employees
- A mechanism for providing students with access to existing community-based substance abuse treatment resources
- Linking students connected with secondary school-based treatment programs directly with postsecondary supports
- The development of e-learning, game development, and mobile app technologies to deliver resources to students and employees.
Algonquin College is partnering with established community service providers to develop this project. It will be delivered in a manner that is reflective of the needs of Algonquin’s Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. Algonquin College will share this program with all colleges and universities through MTCU’s Mental Health Innovation initiative.