Photo courtesy Northern Healthy Communities Partnership, Facebook.
The past year has been a tough one for young people in northern Saskatchewan, but a new video series is aiming to highlight their triumphs instead of their struggles.
Jan. 17 marked the first of four weekly YouTube video posts on Northern Healthy Communities Partnership's (NHCP) Facebook page and website.
The first video features La Loche Community High School's acting principal Greg Hatch and former student Rayona. She was able to rely on Hatch as a mentor through volleyball, and is now pursuing an education degree.
"The thing that sticks out for me looking back - we did the filming in June - is just how much these adults care about the young people in their community. And it's one of those things that you sort of know, but it's hard to really know until you hear them speak... you see the emotion that comes forward when they're talking about it," said Population Health Promotion Coordinator Amanda Frain.
The videos were created by healthcare workers like Frain who have formed a NHCP subcommittee called the "Building Vibrant Youth Action Team."
The goal for the team is to engage community members in empowering their young people. Theyre taking guidance from studies and research that has established a method called "positive youth development.
"We know that it helps to increase protective factors and reduce risk factors for all the things we want young people to be doing and all of the things that we don't want them to be doing. That's everything from school attendance and graduation rates all the way through to substance use and mental health," said Population Health Promotion Coordinator Amanda Frain.
"It's easy to get started. You don't have to have any particularly special skills or background. You just start by getting to know the people you interact with every day, taking a genuine interest in the things that they're interested in and then doing what you can, what you're able to, to support them as they grow."
The videos are meant to inspire northerners.
"It's ensuring that young people have those positive connections to the people around them - to their community, their school, their parents, all of those things - I don't think there's any community that I'm aware of that has got that 100 per cent right so we're just hoping to get better here," Frain said.
The video feature this week will focus on the positive impact of sports on young people.
The website can be accessed here: http://www.nhcp.ca