The Whistler for Youth group is kicking off a new initiative called the Whistler Process to address behaviour problems and health issues affecting young adults in the community. Some of the issues identified include drug and alcohol abuse, problem students and drop-outs, teen pregnancy, violence and delinquency.
The Whistler Process will implement and evaluate programs to address these issues, promoting positive development of children, youth and families through a set of standard tools and services. Existing programs that are already having a positive impact will be strengthened and included in the process.
Hosted by the Whistler Community Services Society, the Whistler Process is the result of a co-operative effort between the Whistler for Youth group and the Population Health Promotion Associates, which is represented by Dr. Colin Mangham. Dr. Mangham created the first community framework of its kind that is specific to Canada, which is similar to a Caring Communities program that has been used in Whistler in the past.
Stakeholders in the Whistler Process include parents, grandparents, service providers, the faith community, the RCMP, Whistler-Blackcomb and other community members.
As a first step, Whistler for Youth is planning a survey of young adults and holding focus group discussions. The information gathered will be used to determine what issues are facing young adults in the community, and what programs are needed.
In the coming months Whistler for Youth will work to identify promising approaches, and will conduct a workshop to define a set of community standards.
"Our goal is to proactively deal with the risk factors that lead to problem behaviours and to strengthen the programs that already exist in Whistler," said Christine Buttkus of Whistler for Youth.
"We thought it was important to let the community know were still working away, making progress and enhancing our role in the community."