Changing the Culture of Substance Use Project Update 

Dear Community of Practice Members,

We hope you are all doing well!  We are very excited to update you, on behalf of our Changing the Culture of Substance Use (CCSU) team, regarding the progression of the project. 

Changing the Culture of Substance Use: Phase 1 Update
As many of you know, in September of 2012, we launched the call for “Expressions of Interest” for campuses to participate in Phase I of the project (click here to learn more).  A total of six diverse and courageous campuses ended up joining us to explore issues around tackling substance use on campus using a socio-ecological lens, including:
  • British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • Camosun College
  • Capilano University
  • Selkirk College
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • University of Victoria

The project held its kickoff event, March 21-23, 2013 at the Lodge at Twin Creeks in Abbotsford, BC.  We welcomed representatives from all six campuses to join us in an intensive exploration of the culture of alcohol and substance use, both on and off campus.  Through this event, we began the development of our new substance use focused community of practice and identified some key areas of focus, as well as defining the community’s principle interests and modes of collaboration. 

Since this time, the CCSU team has been working with campuses to refine focal areas and identify context-relevant approaches for each campus to move forward.  We are now in the process of launching our monthly collaborative teleconferences and creating innovative tools and resources to help move campuses forward in their efforts.  Examples of the resources we are currently developing include:
  • Situational assessment tool for examining alcohol and substance use on campus using a socio-ecological lens 
  • Best practice review of strategies for dealing with alcohol in residence 
  • “Making the case” for the socio-ecological approach to promote health on campus resource 
  • Safer use guides related to substance use and campuses
Phase 2
We are now looking forward to fall of 2013.  In September, we will launch the call for “Expressions of Interest” for campuses to join us for Phase II of the project. We will also be holding a very exciting learning event that will help campuses think about organizational culture on campus and how to go about shifting the culture of an organization with the intent to improve health and wellness for all campus members.  

More Information
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Catriona Remocker, CCSU Project Coordinator | 604-408-7753

The original Changing the Culture of Substance Use Project Primer is available here

Upcoming Event

Designing Healthy Campus Communities: Enhancing Student Wellbeing & Academic Success (Free Webinar)

International Expertise, Local Leadership and Official Video Launch 

August 15, 2013 | 10:00am – 11:15am PDT
Stimulating Dialogue, Supporting Strategic and Sustainable Action
Pre-Registration Required - Click Here

Following up on discussions at Summit 2012, we hope this event will be an opportunity for Community of Practice members to engage colleagues and diverse stakeholders from their campus communities who haven't been involved in the conversation yet and for existing cross-campus groups to come together and further their discussions.

View the invitation here
If you are interested in hosting an in-person satellite site at your campus/office for you and your colleagues to participate in this webinar together, please contact Shaylyn Streatch at

Note: This is an open event; please feel free to share the invitation with your networks in BC and beyond.

The “Designing Healthy Campus Communities” video was collaboratively developed by the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division (coordinating agency for Healthy Minds/Healthy Campuses) and Simon Fraser University Health Promotion. This video captures the momentum towards a “whole campus” approach shared by Healthy Minds/Healthy Campuses Community of Practice members and aims to further stimulate dialogue and action at campuses across British Columbia and beyond.
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