Is your teen in crisis?

The word crisis has become part of our everyday vernacular thanks to the pandemic. 

Not fun!

We’re in a global crisis.

We’re experiencing personal crises: Emotional, social, and in terms of our physical and mental health. 

We’re facing financial crises or just the daily crises of managing our life, household and to do list. 

Now we have to add on the overdose crisis? An opioid crisis?

And for teens, the crisis of having to grow up in a world rife with all of it all the time. 

So how much are they taking on? How involved are they, really, in any of these major (and completely understandable) parental concerns?

We’ve been talking about mental health and emotional wellbeing. You’ve learned how to approach them and open up conversation. We’ve covered social relationships and bullying and how to keep them confident, safe, and assertive. We explored how to recover from the turmoil and grief of the pandemic and how to heal the emotional burnout it left all of us with. And then you learned how to help them emotionally regulate for when the day to day stuff gets too much. 

But what about substances? 

Today we have a special treat for you! Keep reading to find out. 

Last week you were introduced to Jen Donovan, our youth and substance use expert. Jen has over a decade of experience in front-line social and health services, working primarily with youth and families around experiences of addictions, mental health, eating disorders, trauma, and exploitation.

It was Jen who designed the drug education curriculum for Vancouver schools. It was Jen who worked compassionately to support street-entrenched youth on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. 

Now she works as a Youth Services Consultant and Mental Health First Aid instructor and is called on by the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) to review critical research that will be implemented to better serve and support Canadians.

But we love Jen because she just ‘gets’ youth. She understands them because she’s taken the time to really get to know them and what’s going on for them. She understands then, why they form particular relationships with substances and what they really need from us to make healthy and safe choices. 

She is so well versed in a teen’s entire “eco-system” as a result of her work, that she has developed incredibly effective interventions that don’t compromise human dignity or capacity. She empowers youth to enhance prevention and increase resiliency. And she’s going help YOU know exactly what to do to identify and support a teen or tween in your care who may or may not be struggling with alcohol, vaping, or substances. 

But here’s the treat: Jen was a guest on CBC’s “BC Today with Michelle Eliot”, and we know you are going to want to get a taste of all the amazing insights Jen is going to share with us this Thursday at our online event. You can listen here.

In this clip, you will hear just the beginning’s of Jen’s expertise, so you’re going to want register for Thursday so you don’t miss the exact steps, strategies and guidance on how to support your kids. 

The reality is, the landscape teens have to navigate when it comes to experimenting with alcohol & drugs is starkly different than it was when we were growing up. That means it requires a starkly different response from us. 

  • Do you struggle to talk to them about substance use because you don’t know how to start?
  • Are you worried they’ll start exploring substances and you’ll miss the signs?
  • Or maybe you know they’re already experimenting and you don’t know how to react?


If you want answers on these questions and more, we invite you to join our next live workshop