In this blog, Hala Najm, health promotion and adolescent health expert and senior programs associate at Mentor Arabia Foundation reflects and shares lessons learned from the experience of moving social and emotional learning programs to online platforms with children in Lebanon.
Growing up in a highly connected world, the internet has become a natural part of children’s day to day lives around the globe. It is a means that, especially during the pandemic, has helped us all socialize and stay connected. In fact, the pandemic has fuelled this digital age which seems to be the new trend. Working from home, online learning, virtual coffee breaks, happy hours, birthday events and weddings became a big hit and the new norm.
In Lebanon, working remotely was the solution to many challenges that the country was facing. Starting with civil unrest and ongoing protests; the devaluation of the local currency leading to an economic crash; the pandemic which led to the closure of many businesses; and the cherry on top was Beirut Blast, in 2020, the third-largest non-nuclear explosion in history, which left more than 200 dead and 10,000+ injured. Amid this ongoing humanitarian crisis, the mental health and wellbeing of adults as well as children and youth is greatly affected. Psychosocial support (PSS) programs are the cornerstone to help maintain a resilient generation as they pass through difficulties and overcame traumatic events. Continue reading
In this article, Jose López-Guerrero and Claudio Vidal Giné from ABD – Energy Control (Spain) provide their opinions on harm reduction programmes within the school setting.
It seems like a century ago, but the last Harm Reduction International Conference, held in Porto in April 2019, welcomed the words of Michelle Bachelet, the current United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Chile. In her speech , she listed in a convincing way the benefits of drug policies framed within a well-being and health-oriented harm reduction perspective regarding people who use drugs. Opioid substitution treatment, syringe exchange programmes or drug consumption rooms have shown their effectiveness and usefulness where they have been applied and well-funded. However, harm reduction adapted to educational contexts is far from the implementation and recognition shown by previous schemes. Continue reading
In this blog article, Charlotte De Kock, researcher at Ghent University (Belgium) and member of the Xchange Prevention Registry is presenting the story of this unique European registry of evidence-based prevention interventions.
It’s been two years now since I’m involved in the development and maintenance of the Xchange prevention registry. This experience enabled me to work with a team of people who have decades of experience and expertise in drug prevention. But what is the Xchange prevention registry exactly, and what did we realise in these last couple of years?
What is Xchange?
The European Xchange Prevention Registry was officially established in 2017. Xchange is an online registry of European, evidence-based prevention interventions. It is updated approximately twice a year with new programmes and feedback from implementers (schools, public health institutes, etc.). Continue reading
In this blog, Dr. Giovanni Aresi and Dr. Raven H. Weaver will discuss the societal benefits of volunteering among older adults, specifically reflecting on being a mentor for disadvantaged youth. Although mentoring has been considered as a positive youth development intervention, there has been much less attention on the effects on older volunteer mentors’ well-being.
Healthy ageing as a key priority for our society
Individuals are living longer than ever before, posing a challenge in respect of increased risk of developing physical and mental illness, but also creating new opportunities for older adults to remain socially engaged with and contribute to society. The WHO defines healthy ageing as “the process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables well-being in older age”. Having the capacity to remain engaged allows for lifelong learning, growth, agency/decision-making, and development of relationships – all of which contribute to society. Continue reading
Currently, the COVID-19 outbreak is having a firm grip on the global population. To restrict further spread and increase preventive measures across the population, prevention science is called upon to complement medical actions. Being an interdisciplinary research field, prevention science comprises multiple perspectives that are coming together to strengthen resilience in crisis. Three of them (health psychology, communication science, implementation science) will be highlighted to underscore their potential for responding to this global challenge. Continue reading
In this blog, Dr Helen Gleeson offers interesting insights on the needs of young people with a have a history of substance use who come into contact with the criminal justice system in the UK. Curious? Read on.
In the UK, many young people who come into contact with the criminal justice system have some history of substance use. Most of these young people will be ordered by the police or the courts to attend a mandatory substance use program as part of their sentence or caution. Unsurprisingly, it can be difficult to engage this group in a program that they are attending in order to avoid criminal sanctions (e.g. a custodial sentence). As part of the EPPIC (Exchanging Prevention practices on Polydrug use among youth In Criminal justice systems) project, research teams have been collecting qualitative interview data from young people and professionals in substance use intervention and criminal justice settings in six European countries (UK, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Austria). In the UK, I was part of a research team that interviewed 38 young people and 25 professionals from youth offending teams (YOTs), community services, children’s services and third sector organisations who offer substance use services to young people both in and outside of the criminal justice system. Continue reading
In this blog post, Laura Castillo-Eito, PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield (UK) shares with us the experience of the first webinar of the EUSPR Early Career Forum.
Technology! We are surrounded by it: computers, smartphones, tablets… We use technology every day in our private life and, if you are a researcher or a practitioner, you are likely to use it every day for your work. I know I do, and I could not imagine doing research without it. I don’t know how they did it before!
As prevention researchers and practitioners, we use technology and the Internet for a range of different things and technology could be used to deliver affordable training to everyone’s office and house. Some institutions have done it for years but others are still reluctant. I can proudly say that the European Society for Prevention Research Early Careers Forum (EUSPR-ECF) -host of this blog- has recently started to offer some online training. Continue reading
In this blog, Dr Giovanni Aresi will discuss some reasons why adopting a cultural perspective is important for prevention scientists.
The 2018 conference was the first time I came in contact with the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR). As I have done (so far) little in terms of preventive intervention development, implementation and evaluation, I was actually unsure whether or not my work on alcohol drinking cultures (i.e., schema of beliefs, practices, and values maintained by a cultural group or society regarding alcohol use) would fit into the scope of the EUSPR. I was therefore very surprised when I learnt that I was awarded the 2018 early career award for outstanding promise based on poster presentation. On second thought, in a socio-ecological perspective, culture is an important level of influence to health outcomes, and therefore needs to be taken into consideration during all stages of intervention. This makes culture an important object of interest for EUSPR members. Continue reading
At the beginning of her academic life, Angelina Brotherhood was an urban sociologist, and this perspective still informs her work as a prevention researcher. In this blog, she presents emerging findings from her doctoral research and a possible dilemma she might soon face. Intrigued? Read on.
My doctoral research focuses on how people think about spaces in their everyday life, and how those ways of thinking relate to their substance use in those spaces. To generate data, I conducted interviews with 24 female students aged 18-26 years at the University of Vienna who reported alcohol and/or cigarette use in the last 3 months, but no use of illicit substances in the last 12 months. Continue reading
Prevention research plays a crucial role in data gathering, and developing best practices and strategies for fighting one of the biggest issues in global health today – the epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In this month’s blog, Vasilka Lalevska reflects on how, why and when prevention research matters in this context.