Recommended Resources for Schools


Helping Schools      Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR), University of Victoria                                    An ongoing project aimed at supporting comprehensive school health through an ecological approach that's goal is to change the school environment and actively engage students in the learning process. The resources help educators, and other adults in the school community, stimulate students to think differently about drugs and to explore the meaning of drugs in human experience. Some of the resources include:

  • School Policy - developing healthy drug policies, alternatives to suspension, foundational theory, etc.
  • iMinds - Lesson ideas on drugs and gambling for various curricular subjects that fit within BC's K-12 curriculum
  • Cycles - A film-based cannabis resource that encourages teens to talk openly about why people use cannabis
  • Drugs and Driving - A resource for gr. 10-12 classrooms to promote literacy about the impact of alcohol & drugs
  • Cannabis Resources - Cannabis legalization guides, school-based/drug literacy lessons, dialogue resources
  • Screening and brief intervention tools: self-administered screening tools to assess one's own use and can be used to facilitate referral or as a "doorway" to conversation with students and their supports
  • The Art of Motivation - applies the principals of motivational interviewing to engage in conversations and support positive change
  • Substance Use & Young People - A Guide for Families & Their Caring Communities - This guide offers supports to help adult members of a young person's community talk with them about alcohol and other drugs as they navigate individual life circumstances

HeretoHelp.bc.ca        A project of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Substance Use Information
An online resource with information on mental health, mental illness, and substance use problems.

  • Youth Workbook- You and Substance Use: Stuff to think about...and ways to make changes - A workbook for youth with information and guided activities to think about their own substance use, harm reduction strategies, and de-stigmatize substance use by considering the ways drugs have the potential to help and harm
  • Visions Journal - BC's award-winning quarterly journal that brings together many views on mental health and substance use. Explore past publications on: youth, the recovery journey, self-harm, health inequalities, Indigenous people, transitions, loneliness and connection, culture, cannabis, eating disorders, medications, schools, etc. 

The Youth Crisis 24-hour online chat and phone line        Youth in BC & Crisis Centre

Sample Safety/Coping Plan             Adapted from Peak House                                                                                                    In collaboration with the student, use this one-page document to identify the area(s) of concern, strategies that help, and ways staff can support. 

Keeping Youth Connected, Healthy & Learning - Effective Responses to Substance Use in the School Setting VIHA   A report about school and community-based approaches, with a focus on alternatives to suspension. 

Talk-Listen: Centering Youth Wisdom in Group Work at Peak House   Child & Youth Care Journal, Volume 31 No. 3              This article outlines the Talk-Listen group, including transcripts of a group, which aims to co-construct relational safety, address the context in which struggles exist, illuminate resistance, and weave a sense of connection, belonging and hope amongst youth.

Mental Health Literacy    University of British Columbia                                                                                                            Two freely accessible online courses, LEARN and TEACH, provide staff the ability, though self-directed courses, to increase their mental health literacy and then teach students ages 12 to 19. 

AnxietyCanada.com     A website with self-help tools and evidence-based resources on anxiety. 

  • Anxiety in Youth - An interactive website for youth with videos, strategies, and personal stories
  • MindShift app for iOS and Android devices. The app uses scientifically proven strategies based on CBT.

Trauma Informed Practice & the Opioid Crisis               BC Centre of Excellence for Women's Health                                        A discussion guide for health care and social service providers.

Substance Use and Mental Health Online Index            Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)                                 Information on various substances and the effects, risks, impact on health

Protective Factors: Balance & Connection - Prov. results of the 2018 BC Adolesc. Health Survey, McCreary Centre Society

TowardtheHeart.com          BCCDC Harm Reduction Services                                                                                                  This project supports people to be safer and healthier by providing information about overdose prevention and response, and a free online naloxone training course.

LivingThroughLoss.ca - Grief and loss resources                Counselling Society of BC

Classroom that Heal - Designing school spaces to support mental health       Magazine of the BCTF, Vol 30 No.2 Nov-Dev 2017    Tips to creating classrooms/school environments that follow biophilic theory to incorporate nature into interior spaces.

Break it Off         Health Canada and Canadian Cancer Society                                                                                                     A digital media campaign with tools and support to help young people who use tobacco to quit smoking.

Vaping Health Info for Youth        Government of BC

Vaping Tip-Sheet and Brochure          Supporting and Connecting Youth (SACY), Vancouver School Board

SOGI 1 2 3 Education               The ARC Foundation in collaboration with education partners                                    SOGI 1 2 3 helps educators make schools inclusive and safe for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities (SOGI). The BC site includes: curriculum resources, pro-d opportunities, information on how to join the network and self-identify as a school lead, and parent resources.

Welcoming Schools             A Project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation                                                                Website with resources and bias-based bullying prevention program which uses an intersectional, anti-racist lens to provide LGBTQ and gender inclusive pro-d and training, lesson plans, booklists, and resources.


Recommended Books for Teachers and Staff:

  • Decolonizing Trauma Work (2014) by Renee Linklater
  • Growing up Resilient - Ways to build resilience in children and youth (2007) by T. Barankin & N. Khanlou
  • Unsettling Canada (2015) by Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson
  • Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality (2016) Rethinking Schools Publication


Recommended Books for Students:

Substance use and mental health:

  • Mindfulness in Recovery Workbook. (2018) by John Bruna
  • Mindfulness for Emerging Adults. (2018) by Donna Torney
  • Twenty-Four Hours A Day for Teens (2004) by Hazeldon Meditations
  • Lunch with Lenin (2008) by Deborah Ellis
  • Keys to Unlocking Depression. (2016) by Michael D. Yapko
  • Stopping the Noise in Your Head: A New Way to Overcome Anxiety and Worry. (2016) by Ried Wilson
  • My Anxious Mind: A Teen's Guide to Managing Anxiety and Panic. (2009) by Tompkins
  • The Anxiety Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Deal with Anxiety and Worry. (2008) by Lisa M. Schab
  • Shook One - Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me (2018) by Charlamagne Tha Good

Other books:

  • Seeing Gender: An Illustrated Guide to Identity and Expression. (2019) by Iris Gottlieb
  • The Women's Atlas. (2018) by Joni Seager
  • Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes. (2018) by Kyle T Mays
  • Transitions: Making the most of your campus experience. (2019) by Stan Kutcher
  • Do What You Are - Discover the perfect career through your personality type (2007) by P. Tieger & B. Barron
  • Careers - The ultimate guide to planning your future (2019) by Dk