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SACY: Substance Use Health Promotion Initiative


Welcome to the SACY website!

What is SACY?

Supporting And Connecting Youth (SACY) - Substance Use Health Promotion Initiative engages Vancouver parents/caregivers, teachers, students, administrators and the greater community to strengthen school-based substance use education, prevention and early-intervention programs and policies.

The goal of SACY is to: Enhance the prevention and brief intervention infrastructure in VSB schools and surrounding community to prevent substance use, delay substance use and reduce substance use related problems. 

At SACY we believe that young people that feel connected to their schools, who have supportive family, and have adult allies and mentors are stronger, healthier and better able to live up to their full potential.

SACY staff and allies are committed to listening to their experiences and supporting them in the prevention, delay and reduction of substance use.

How do we work?

The SACY team uses a comprehensive and evidence-based approach to deliver coordinated prevention and early intervention strategies that emphasize relationships, connectedness, positive youth development, and social and emotional learning. 

SACY utilizes a number of unique activities including “Capacity Cafes” (where youth voices educate adults), community service learning opportunities, parent engagement and specific activities that involve Aboriginal and multi-cultural communities.

SACY has three interrelated activity streams:

Youth Prevention, Engagement and Education
Parent/Caregiver Engagement and Education
Individual School Site Consultation and Support

What does SACY work focus on?

  • Strengthen youth’s connection to school, family and community.
  • Build resiliency in youth, parents/caregivers and within the community by focusing on strengths versus deficits.
  • Encourage open and honest dialogue on issues related to substance use.
  • Promote positive youth development - emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual.
  • Create opportunities for youth voices to be heard.

SACY acknowledges that adolescence may be a time of experimentation with substances, including tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, and therefore works to:

  • Ensure that prevention efforts are relevant and realistic, helping young people navigate a society where substance use is prevalent.
  • Generate opportunities for youth to give back to their communities.
  • Address risk factors that exist around substance use and which are related to individuals, families, schools and community.

SACY recognizes the important role of parents/caregivers, teachers and other adults and therefore seeks to:

  • Support parents/caregivers in maintaining strong relationships with their youth.
  • Teach parents/caregivers effective ways of communicating with their youth.
  • Promote adult listening and adult ally building - important steps that help young people stay healthy and feel positively connected to their schools and communities.

SACY seeks to impact the school environment and thus aims to: 

  • Support teachers and administrators to utilize evidence-based prevention practices
  • Implement effective classroom cricula.
  • Work with schools to implement an integrated approach to substance use prevention.

SACY is committed to a multi-faceted approach in supporting youth, caregivers and our school district.

SACY is a joint initiative between the Vancouver School Board and Vancouver Coastal Health. 


BC 1-800-SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433
Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789
Vancouver Coastal Regional Distress Line: 604-872-3311 crisis and emotional support chat and text: 778-783-0177 (6pm - 12:00am daily)



SACY FENTANYL VIDEO now available on YouTube: 

Click for a Discussion Guide, or a Short Quiz for use with the SACY Fentanyl Video.

SACY Resources for Families and Caregivers

If you require additional information, please contact Brandon Morishita, District Principal, Mental Health, SEL & Prevention Programs 

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