Sources of Support
Children will demonstrate their understanding of identifying people and community resources that can help with substance use situations.
The educator observes children’s demonstrated knowledge and understanding of people and community resources that can help with substance use situations.
Chart paper, Map of community, Markers, Sticky notes
Hand out a sticky note to each child and ask him or her to write two true statements and one false statement about the effects of substance use.
Have children move around the room. When the educator claps his or her hands, children find a partner and take turns reading their three statements to their partner, who will guess which two statements are facts.
Continue the activity, with children working with different partners each time.
After an appropriate time, regroup and have children share any statements that stumped their partners.
In a large group, ask children to reflect on what it feels like to struggle with
- doing your homework
- dealing with peer pressure
- learning to play the piano
- dealing with stress
- making healthy choices
Next, have them consider how it feels when you finally get help. Have children share their responses with the group. Examples could include:
- It feels liberating.
- It’s like a weight is taken off my shoulders.
- It’s nice to find out that someone cares.
Some people may use substances like alcohol and cannabis in a way that causes problems in their lives. Share with children that there are many different types of community agencies and professionals that specialize in helping individuals who are having problems with substances like alcohol or cannabis or who have addictions to address these difficulties. These services can also offer support to the individual’s family and friends.
Types of agencies that are available to help children make healthy choices, and learn strategies to deal with life's challenges include:
- guidance counselors
- public health nurses
- sport facilities
- after-school programs
- walk in clinics
- family elders
- youth centres
In small groups, have children brainstorm a list of local agencies and write the list on the board, or on chart paper in a mind map around the word “Support.”
Then have the children list the kinds of support community agencies can provide (e.g., Kids Help Phone, Connex Ontario, 211 Ontario).
If available, use a large map of the community, and identify and label local agencies that are available to provide various types of support in your own community. Consider using a sticky note to identify appropriate contact information and how the agencies can be accessed (e.g., telephone, city bus, walk in).
Challenge children to think critically about the following topics and respond using a journal entry or Exit Card:
- Healthy ways in which they cope with stress in their daily lives (e.g., being active, writing, eating healthy foods, reading, talking with a friend, etc.).
- Sources of support they have in their life (e.g., an aunt, a family friend, a public health nurse, etc.) that they could go to if they were struggling to cope with stress.