Children Youth

Supporting Teens in Making Healthy Choices with Dr. Matt Bellace

Submitted by Stephanie MacDonald, RN, Health Promotion Department, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health


Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is partnering with Hastings Prince Edward District School Board to assist parents in understanding the importance of preventing or delaying substance misuse in adolescence. On Tuesday May 10th, at Quinte Secondary School, we welcome psychologist, comedian and public speaker Dr. Matt Bellace. Dr. Bellace’s presentation titled, Natural Highs: Supporting Teens in Making Healthy Choices uses humor to convey his very powerful message – we need to support young people in both words and actions if we want them to make healthy choices for themselves.

While alcohol is an accepted part of Canadian society, the health, social and economic burden of alcohol for individuals, families and communities is significant. Engaging in risky alcohol and drug use places youth at higher risk of experiencing alcohol- and drug-related harms, such as, dependence, chronic disease, and mental health disorders. These are direct outcomes from damage done to the developing brain. According to Ontario’s Student Drug Use and Health Survey, an estimated 439,200 Ontario students, just under half of all students in Ontario, report drinking more than a few sips of alcohol in the past year. With 27%, just over one quarter of students, indicating their parents allow them to drink at home during parties or get-togethers with friends.

Parents play a key role in influencing the choices youth make about drugs and alcohol. Together we can assist youth in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties to succeed in school and later in life.

To learn more about this exciting FREE event for parents and to register, please visit All are welcome!

Wendy Anderson, Coordinator, Children and Youth Services Network

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