Charlottetown Police Services has developed a new program focused on educating elementary students about drug abuse, mental health and internet safety.
The new program, titled Healthy Me, replaces the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, which taught students about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco use. Healthy Me covers a wider variety of issues relating to drug prevention, social media and mental health. The program teaches students how to build social and emotional skills with a focus on internet safety and coping skills for difficult situations.
"I want to commend the Police Department for all of the hard work involved in developing and implementing this program," said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. "We have already received international attention for the Healthy Me curriculum and our hope is to share this program with students around the world."
Several Police Officers have received specialized training on the new Healthy Me program, which is scheduled to begin in Charlottetown area schools after the March break. The Healthy Me program is targeted at students in grade 6 and can be adapted to include students from grades 7 to 9. Students who participate will receive prizes, t-shirts and take part in a graduation ceremony similar to the DARE program.
"The new program focuses on a proactive approach, providing students with coping skills to make informed decisions," said Councillor Jason Coady, Chair of the Protective and Emergency Services Committee. "We want to educate students on the importance of taking care of themselves and their mental health, as well as provide them with tools for navigating social media and the cyber world."
Healthy Me is a collaborative community effort created and developed by Colonel Gray High School student services, The Making Waves Group and Charlottetown Police Services.
"Throughout my time working in the schools, I discovered the students were facing many issues relating to social media, bullying and mental health and they didn’t have the skills to cope," said Charlottetown Police Constable Tim Keizer. "In the Healthy Me program, we provide students with tools to handle stressful situations in a positive manner and cover issues that teenagers face on a daily basis."
Charlottetown Police Services would like to thank the Charlottetown Y's Men Club, 100 Women PEI, PEI Teachers Federation, English Language School Board and the PEI Police Association for their continued support in assisting with funding and development of programs aimed to assist youth in the community.
For more information about the work of Charlottetown Police Services, visit www.charlottetownpolice.com
Deputy Chief Gary McGuigan
Charlottetown Police Services
City of Charlottetown
City of Charlottetown