Early Prevalence Data from the Brock Healthy Youth Project (BYHP)


Brock Healthy Youth Project aims to understand how we can promote healthy lifestyle choices among youth

The Brock Healthy Youth Project (BHYP) is a project being led by a team of researchers from Brock University’s Lifespan Centre. BHYP aims to provide a window into adolescent brain development and health-risk behaviours. Specifically, BHYP is a collaborative effort dedicated to longitudinally examining health-risk behaviours from childhood through adolescence by investigating interactions among brain activity, genetics, endocrine status, physical activity, personality, and environmental factors. Partners in this project are involved in the full research process – from idea creation through to dissemination and evaluation.

Click the image below to view 12 new infographics showing early prevalence data from BHYP:




Anyone interested in learning more about BHYP early results, knowledge mobilization efforts, and partner possibilities should email Jayne Morrish at jmorrish@brocku.ca

Establishing Sustainable Youth-Adult Partnerships: Research and Recommendations

By Parnian Pardis and Alyssa Frampton of the Young Canadians Roundtable on Health

Within the Young Canadians Roundtable on Health (YCRH), we pride ourselves on being a youth-led organization that advocates for child and youth health. We each contribute unique perspectives on health, so that we can approach novel situations creatively and with the best interests of children and youth. However, support from our parent group, The Sandbox Project, has been critical to our success. Our partnership with Sandbox is exemplary of an effective youth-adult partnership, and reflecting on this relationship is important to encourage other organizations and policy makers to similarly include youth voice in their decisions.

In 2017, we initiated the Sandbox Youth Adult Partnership Research Project (YAPRP) with the Students Commission of Canada. Dr. Heather Ramey, Principal Investigator of this study, and her research team conducted interviews with current and former YCRH members, Sandbox staff and executives, and external stakeholders.

What did we find?

Key findings from these discussions highlighted the mutually beneficial relationships that have been established between YCRH members and adult allies. For example, YCRH members emphasized they could rely on support from The Sandbox Project’s network, while adult allies reported acquiring new skills from working with young people. Creating this healthy balance between YCRH and Sandbox has grounded the YCRH as a “living laboratory” within which young people can create meaningful relationships, advocate for their values, and encourage involvement from other youth as well.

Recommendations to build strong youth-adult partnerships

Gathering the perspectives of youth and adults alike, this project has provided valuable insight that should be considered in all youth-adult partnerships.

  1. Raise the bar. Create an ongoing platform to gather youth input.

  2. Invest in mutual relationships. Nurture mutual understanding among youth and adults, taking the time to understand their interests and ambitions. Further, use this understanding to connect youth with internal and external opportunities that increase youth presence in decision-making overall.

  3. Appreciate the value of different forms of knowledge and expertise. Expertise does not always surface in the form of academic knowledge; lived experience is just as valuable and should be respected.

  4. Recognize different ways of communicating. Translate knowledge to youth appropriately, recognizing how they grasp information best, with the intention to encourage them to put this information to practical use.

  5. For adult allies, embrace the unexpected. Recognize that working with youth is not equivalent to working with other adults. Provide generous timeframes, engage in mutual respect, and set deadlines at the outset of the working relationship.

  6. Continuously revisit and renegotiate structure and flexibility. Adults are mentors that can help equip youth with the necessary tools for success. Ongoing communication between youth and adults is required to develop conditions in which youth can excel.

While these recommendations appear quite feasible, they are often forgotten. Organizations can superficially gather youth opinion, without appropriately evaluating their input during decision-making. It would be quite outdated to believe that youth cannot provide valuable knowledge and information, especially about decisions which pertain to them. Findings from the YAPRP serve as important reminders, and provide a valuable framework to understand youth-adult partnerships, strengthening the potential of adults to act as strong youth allies. Not only do youth deserve to be heard, but their voices need to be amplified. Let’s do everything we can to help make this happen.

Our e-book can be found here for further reference: http://sandboxproject.ca/ycrh-ebook/

This post originally appeared on YouthHealthRights.ca.

UNICEF Canada: The Child and Youth Well-Being Index is here! (beta version)

Many Canadians say they believe Canada must be one of the best places to be a child. Many children see things differently. The facts say that we could definitely be better. UNICEF Canada is launching the Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being to signpost the way from where we stand to the place Canadians think we should be. 

The Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-Being is a framework to:

  • Communicate to Canadians what Canada is like for kids from birth to age 18

  • Track progress for their rights and well-being

  • Guide action to address the greatest challenges

From index to impact

The Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being helps focus efforts where they are greatly needed, from healthy relationships to freedom to play. To measure Canada’s ability to turn economic progress into progress for children. To raise the next generation of Canadians who stand with strong roots and reach for big dreams.

7 ways to use the Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being:

  1. Talk with children and youth about what life is like for them.

  2. Develop better data for and with children.

  3. Set bolder goals and benchmarks for community, regional and national progress for children.

  4. Advocate for children – influence decision-makers to make Canada among the best places to grow up.

  5. Design solutions - policies, investments, programs and practices that address our greatest challenges - and measure their impacts.

  6. Track progress toward commitments including the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

  7. Do this with children and youth. 

Is this what well-being looks like?

Check out the prototype in progress of the Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being. Tell UNICEF Canada if this what child and youth well-being looks like to you. UNICEF Canada will continue to refine the Index to better reflect what it means to be a society in which every child can achieve their rights and their dreams. 

Global Matrix 3.0: Report urges recognition of childhood physical activity as a global health priority

On November 26, the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance released the Global Matrix 3.0 – the most comprehensive comparison of child and youth physical activity across the globe.

This year marks the third iteration of this robust global comparison. The Global Matrix 3.0 compares 49 countries from six continents to assess global trends in childhood physical activity 3 in developed and developing nations. ParticipACTION is once again thrilled to contribute to this global initiative by providing Canadian-specific data.

Want to know how Canada stacks up to the rest of the world? Please visit https://www.participaction.com/en-ca/resources/global-matrix to view the full global comparison of all 49 nations, including the individual reports cards of each participating country.

Children First Canada: National Child Day Forum recap

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Source: Children First Canada

The National Child Day Forum Tuesday at Telus Harbour in Toronto was an amazing event. Nearly 50 youth aged 11-17 came together to discuss issues of child health and wellbeing and the newly finalized Canadian Children's Charter. Over lunch, these youth delegates were charged with sitting with the adult guests and sharing their thoughts.

For many, it was the first time that adults were asking the youth for their opinion on issues that really matter to them.

Much of the discussion was around the finalized CANADIAN CHILDREN'S CHARTER, presented on Tuesday. In fact, Justin Trudeau, in his National Child Day message to Canadians made particular note of the Canadian Children's Charter. It is a tribute to the children and youth who have spent the last year developing this Charter to raise awareness of what they need to thrive in Canada.

Children First Canada and the O'Brien Institute for Public Health also released a second report with Economic Commentary on Raising Canada. This report puts forward a clear and urgent case for investing in children. 

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Last year in Ottawa, Mme Sophie Gregoire Trudeau was moved by the work of Canada's children and youth to create the Canadian Children's Charter. This year, she presented a message of empowerment to the children and youth delegates, and the adults. CLICK HERE

The panel was amazing. Moderated by Lisa LaFlamme, CTV News Anchor and a member of the Children First Canada Council of Champions, the panel discussion was both enlightening and challenging. Josh Blair, Executive Vice-President of TELUS Health, Rhiannon Traill, CEO of the Economic Club of Canada, along with two of our youth hosts, Roman Wolfli and Arielle Lok. spoke from the heart about why, how and what we need to do in Canada to ensure our children are supported.

The day ended with three of the youth hosts putting out a Call to Action:

1.  The establishment of the Children's Commissioner
2.  The publishing of a Children's Budget
3.  The adoption of the Canadian Children's Charter.

It was an amazing day - with wonderful ideas from the children and youth to make Canada the best place for kids to grow up. For more, visit Children First Canada.