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March 5, 2015
London Health Sciences Centre’s Injury Prevention Program joined other community partners such as London Police Services (LPS) to educate grade 6 students as part of the Values, Influences and Peers (V.I.P.) Program.
V.I.P. is an educational program aimed at all grade 6 students throughout the Province of Ontario. The program aims to help students make informed choices related to values and the law, inform students of their rights and responsibilities and enhance students’ self-esteem.
“The injury prevention team has been involved in V.I.P. for over 10 years. We discuss the medical consequences of decision making and choices. We interact with students, ask questions, dispel myths and educate them on how to make good choices as they are faced with more and more opportunities to explore different things,” says Jane Harrington, injury prevention specialist, LHSC.
Throughout the school year, officers from the Community Services Unit of LPS present on topics which include values and rules, peer pressure, authority figures, alcohol and tobacco and other drugs, internet safety and youth and the law to the students in seven, one hour sessions. Teachers present topics such as decision making, healthy friendships, responsible citizenship, service to the community, interpersonal skills and social diversity.
In addition to the required topics, there is a field trip to a local auditorium where the topics of V.I.P. are reinforced through presentations by local hospital staff and other presenters from selected community groups. Alcohol, drugs, smoking, effects of substances on the body, seatbelt use/drinking and driving and how poor decisions can ripple through the community are some of the topics covered by injury prevention specialists.
This year V.I.P. saw close to 5000 students throughout the week and was a huge success. The Injury Prevention Program is generously supported by Children’s Health Foundation.