the edutox video challenge
A key recommendation that emerged from the 2014 Prenatal Environmental Health Education (PEHE) Forum was to develop strategies that target youth in the years before conception, namely: to develop a youth environmental health literacy program focused on locally relevant information about environmental health risks and simple actions that can be taken to reduce them.
Adolescents and young adults are a particularly important population to target for environmental health education efforts for a number of reasons:
- Raising awareness of environmental health issues now could have significant impacts on the health of their future children and their own health over the long term;
- It is easier to change behaviours around purchasing practices, diet and other day-to-day activities before they become lifelong habits; and
- It could be anticipated that by engaging youth as educators, messages will be better received by their peers and ultimately will be more likely to effect change.
Recognizing the benefits of focusing chemical and environmental health education on youth, our team proposed to develop an environmental health video challenge for young Canadians in an effort to raise awareness about common toxic exposures and ways that young people can reduce these in their day-to-day lives.
- To raise awareness about environmental health issues among participants, teachers/professors, friend networks, classmates, parents and anyone involved either directly or indirectly in the challenge;
- To effect health-promoting behavioural change among these same groups;
- To encourage the development of innovative educational videos produced by youth, directed towards youth;
- To support the development of youth leaders in environmental health; and,
- To raise the profile of existing environmental health efforts and educational resources from partner organizations.