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Health Unit seeking teen input on expansion of youth website

SIMCOE, FEBRUARY 7, 2013 – The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is recruiting teens to take the lead on the expansion of, a local drug awareness website for youth.

Originally launched in 2010, the site currently provides teens with information on drugs, alcohol and peer pressure, answers frequently asked questions, and offers tips on ways to reduce the risk of drug-related problems. An evaluation of The Chill Zone revealed that local youth would like to see other health topics covered on the website as well.

“We have promoted the website in our high schools, and it’s been well received, but we are ready to expand it to make it even more useful for teens in our area,” said Laura Tousaw, health promoter with the substance misuse prevention program at the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. “The best way to do this is to go directly to youth to find out what issues are affecting them day-to-day.”

Tousaw added that potential new topic areas for the website might include sexual health, mental health and healthy eating, but it will ultimately depend on the input they receive from the teens.

The group sessions where youth can offer their ideas and input will take place during after-school hours, twice a month, from March to May. Once the website has been expanded, participants will also be invited to help with promotional activities.

“This is a great learning opportunity for teens interested in health, web content creation, social media and meeting new people,” said Tousaw. “Youth will have the opportunity to help expand an interactive website accessed by their peers while having fun at the same time.”

Youth involved in the project will also receive incentives such as gift cards and community service hours.

Anyone between the ages of 13-18 who is interested in participating in this project is invited to call Laura Tousaw at the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit at 519-426-6170 Ext. 3274, or email [email protected]. Teens can also visit The Chill Zone’s Facebook page and send a private message.


Media Contact:

Laura Tousaw
Health Promoter, Substance Misuse Prevention
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Ext. 3274 at either 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623
[email protected]