Press release: Supporting children and young people’s transitions through risk prevention

Mentor received joint Government funding for an additional year to further embed expert advice and develop evidence-based tools for local practice in prevention and education.

As part of the Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service (ADEPIS),  Mentor will be managing and further developing the Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions (CAYT), to ensure existing evidence-based and effective preventative programmes reach the mainstream educational settings. The new website is being launched today, Monday 13 April 2015.

As the transitionary period between childhood and adulthood has grown, youth engagement in a range of positive and negative risky behaviours has increased and the education and labour market options faced by young people have changed dramatically. The work of organisations like Mentor, which focuses on harm prevention and early support, is becoming increasingly critical, as is the further development and application of programmes supported by robust evidence.

Quote from Michael O’Toole, Chief Executive at Mentor:

“CAYT is a natural addition to Mentor’s work because of its evidence-based programmes that focus on universal and targeted, age-appropriate prevention and support. At Mentor, we believe that this approach is the best way to build protective factors around young people so that they are able to thrive, free from the harms of alcohol and drugs. Mentor has worked with youth services, schools and families for 17 years to provide early support and preventative programmes rooted in the best international evidence available. By integrating CAYT into ADEPIS, we will continue to offer programmes and services with proven effectiveness in building resilience to risky behaviours in young people.”

Evidence-based practice: a national priority

There has been an increasing national focus on recognising the need for evidence-based prevention and early intervention. Building resilience and character in young people, the promotion of social and emotional learning in formal and non-formal education settings, and improving the teaching quality of Personal, Social, Health, and Economic (PSHE) education in schools are becoming ever more important in shaping government strategies and priorities.

In a time where PSHE education is not a statutory entitlement, it is crucial that services like Mentor-ADEPIS become a source of centralised support and guidance to further establish and sustain the highest quality alcohol and drug education and prevention in schools nationwide.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) highlighted the ineffectiveness of drug education and prevention methods when not based on robust evidence and good practice, and emphasised the need to invest in, and further develop, evidence-based practice through high quality evaluation and research.

Mentor-ADEPIS role

Mentor-ADEPIS will continue to be the key provider of ‘information of the evidence of effectiveness of […] prevention programmes and activities’.[1]

Alcohol and drug use is only one among the many risks that young people may encounter as they grow up, and it is often related to other social, personal and cultural risk factors. Mentor-ADEPIS, through CAYT expertise will promote best practice aimed at reducing risky behaviours, increasing protective factors, building resilience, and promoting positive social norms.

About Mentor-ADEPIS

The Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service(ADEPIS) is a platform for sharing information and resources aimed at schools, practitioners working in alcohol and drug education and prevention, and a growing range of other settings for reaching young people. Since launched in 2013, ADEPIS has become acknowledged as the leading source of evidence based information and resources for alcohol and drug education and prevention.

The Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions (CAYT) is a repository of evidence-based information and quality-assured studies that assess the impact of programmes centred on the transitions made by young people.

To find out more please email adepis@mentoruk.org

 

[1] Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) report on the prevention of alcohol and drug dependence