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Risk-Avert was developed by Essex County Council and The Training Effect (a provider of school-based interventions focusing on risk-taking behaviours, emotional health, wellbeing and PSHE). It  is a multicomponent school based intervention targeting secondary school children aged 12 and 13 years old. The programme seeks to contribute to the improvement of young people’s health and wellbeing, empowering them to effectively manage risk and achieve positive outcomes. The programme focuses on the drivers behind behaviour and on supporting young people to develop practical skills to enable them to effectively manage risks they may encounter in everyday life.

Second Step

The Second Step programme is a universal, classroom-based programme designed to increase students’ school success, improve peer relationships, and decrease problem behaviours by promoting social-emotional competence and self-regulation. It teaches skills that strengthen students’ ability to learn, have empathy, manage their emotions and behaviours and solve problems. The Second Step programme was developed by Committee for Children (CfC), a non-profit organisation in Seattle, Washington, dedicated to fostering the safety and well-being of children through social-emotional learning and development.

Mind and Body Programme

The Mind and Body Programme was developed by Addaction’s Young Persons’ Services in Kent as a multi-component risk reduction programme for young people who are vulnerable to risk taking behaviours. Its primary aim is to reduce students’ and young people’s self- harming and develop better coping strategies. Other risky behaviours, such as those related to drug and alcohol misuse, are also targeted by strategies developed by the Mind and Body Programme.



The RisKit programme is a multi-component risk reduction programme for young people aged 14 – 16 years old who are vulnerable to risk-taking behaviour. These risks include drug and alcohol abuse, early/unprotected sex and offending. The programme aims to reduce risk behaviours in vulnerable adolescents, particularly related to alcohol and drug abuse and risky sex behaviour.


Lions-Quest Skills for Adolescence

The Lions Quest Programme is a whole-school approach to youth development and children’s social and emotional well-being. Drawing from literature in emotional learning, resilience and connectedness, the programme aims to promote social and emotional learning (SEL), character education, bullying prevention, drug awareness and service learning. The programme includes three stages with three different curricula: Skills for Growing (US grades K-5, UK Years 1 – 6), Skills for Adolescence (US grades 6 – 8, UK Years 7 – 9), and Skills for Action (US grades 9 – 12, UK Years 10 – 13). They are designed to be part of a school-wide programme.


Athan 31 – My Team, My Club, My Community

London Youth’s Athan 31 -My Team, My Club, My Community- is a youth leadership scheme which supports young people to develop and deliver projects they have developed themselves. The programme helps young people develop confidence, character, leadership and team membership skills to improve their youth clubs and have a positive impact on their community. Athan 31 aims at developing a culture of youth innovation and leadership by providing young people with the framework and resources to deliver activities in their communities.

Assist (A Stop Smoking in Schools Trial)

Despite the many years it takes for early tobacco use to translate into tobacco-related morbidity later in life, evidence suggests that addiction is usually established during adolescence. Preventing young people from starting smoking is therefore crucial to developing effective tobacco prevention strategies.

The ASSIST (A Stop Smoking In School Trial) programme is a peer-led intervention aimed at promoting smoke-free behaviours among children aged 12-13 years. ASSIST combines a peer-led approach with the diffusion of innovation theory: it encourages the development and dissemination of new norms of smoking behaviour through the training of influential Year 8 students who work as peer supporters.

Climate Schools: Alcohol and drug education courses

The Climate Schools interventions have been designed to overcome main limitations to implementation challenges and to deliver effective prevention, tackling early initiation to drug and alcohol use among adolescents. The Climate Schools programmes are innovative health education courses, based on the effective social influence approach to drug prevention that a) uses a harm-minimisation approach to alcohol and drug misuse prevention, and b) addresses implementation failures through the use of the internet as a mode of programme delivery, which ensures a high fidelity of implementation. The Climate Schools programmes have been developed by researchers in collaboration with teachers, students, health and legal professionals to properly address all factors identified as potentially undermining efficacy of the intervention.

Building resilience and character in young people

Building resilience in children and young people is one of the key principles of good education, and a necessary requirement in facilitating personal growth, whilst enabling children and young people to successfully navigate life and life challenges.

This briefing paper looks at resilience in the context of universal educational settings (both formal and informal). By giving definitions of key terms to provide a better understanding, it will then explore ways in which these can be contextualised and translated into practice.

This briefing paper is part of a series produced by Mentor ADEPIS on alcohol and drug education and prevention, for teachers and practitioners. Find out more.

Involving families affected by substance use in alcohol and drug education

Using visitors to enhance alcohol and drug education sessions is a common approach taken by many schools, with teachers feeling that people with direct experience can bring a valuable ‘real life’ element to lessons. Similarly, good practice guidance states that external contributors represent a key source of advice and support for schools in the delivery of alcohol and drug education. But whilst visitors can bring benefits if used properly, a lack of care and attention to good practice can result in sessions having limited, or even negative, outcomes.

Although this document contains relevant learning on how schools can use any sort of visitor to enhance alcohol and drug education, it focuses particularly on contributions from families affected by substance use: for example, a parent whose child experienced problems with drugs or alcohol.

This resource aims to:

  • Help schools and families to accrue benefits and avoid mistakes in collaborating to deliver alcohol and drug education
  • Ensure approaches are based on available evidence and good practice
  • Make sessions as beneficial as possible for pupils, families and teachers.