We were recently given an exciting opportunity to share examples of good practice from Mentor ADEPIS and contribute to the development of new international guidance at a four-day International Expert Meeting on Substance Use among Children and Young People held in Istanbul by UNESCO, UNODC and WHO.
On 7 September, Mentor's Youth Insight team brought together people from a wide range of organisations to focus on youth engagement and participation in policy development. Participants represented a diverse range of organisations and sectors, including local government, youth/community centres, young offenders' rehabilitation services, education, employability, healthcare and citizenship services and various charities.
Mentor ADEPIS is determined to bring evidence-based practice to mainstream education. We will do this through the delivery of free regional seminars exploring CAYT quality assessed programmes. We are pleased to announce that our second seminar will look at the Effekt programme, developed in Sweden, and will take place on Wednesday 7 October 2015.
Mentor Scotland has been awarded £488,614 by the Big Lottery Investing in Communities fund to continue its work with kinship care families in Scotland. Over the next three years 500 families across three regions will have access to a range of targeted support, and Mentor can expand their work supporting kinship carers for another three years.
My thoughts on the latest instalment of the Health and Social Care Information Centre's (HSCIC) ongoing survey of young people, which was released last week. This year's report confirms the continuation of a number of positive trends, highlights areas for improvement and, for the first time, provides useful insight into the scale of the NPS problem among young people.
We are pleased to announce that Harry Sumnall, Professor of Substance Use at the Centre for Public Health and Liverpool John Moores University, has joined Mentor as our newest Trustee.
The government’s headline Psychoactive Substances Bill attracted criticism earlier this week when it was debated in the House of Lords. Mentor believes that evidence-based drug prevention and education represent the most effective means of ensuring that our children and young people grow up free from the harms of drugs – including NPS. Although the Bill suggests the government share this overall aim, the focus on legislation will likely lead to more resources being channelled into enforcement at a time when we need to improve prevention at a national level.