Province Reaches Out to Youth

April 17, 2013

The province is asking young leaders for their help in the fight against bullying and violence affecting girls and young women.

Status of Women Minister Marilyn More will meet with members of Leaders of Today and the province’s Youth Advisory Council Monday, April 22.

“Young people understand what is happening in their schools, in their communities and on their smart phones better than anyone else,” said Ms. More. “Young people are also far more likely to listen to kids their own age. We need their advice, we need their voice, and together, I believe we can find some answers and identify next steps.”

Leaders of Today is a network of diverse young people, ages 14 to 24, from across the province who focus on meaningful action on important issues. The group is connected to the Heartwood Centre for Community Youth Development in Halifax.

The Youth Advisory Council also represents diverse youth from across the province. The council was put in place to advise the province on a range of issues affecting youth, including bullying and cyberbullying.

“I am excited to be working towards change in engaging myself and other youth in conversations around sexual assault and bullying and moving forward in a positive direction,” said Leaders of Today member Thomas Cross. “If it’s about us, don’t do it without us. That is an important message for our group and for young people to know others hear.”

Premier Darrell Dexter appointed Ms. More to co-ordinate Nova Scotia’s response to the recent tragic event. The meetings with youth leaders are part of a continuing series with a wide range of groups and individuals who have ideas and experience to contribute.

The minister and senior staff met with groups today, April 17, including the Halifax Regional School Board, Halifax Regional Police, RCMP, Capital District Health Authority, and the IWK. Discussion focused on how everyone can work more effectively together on issues affecting young people.

Ms. More will continue to work with critical partners such as the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre.

“In my meetings, I continue to hear a lot of emotion and frustration about what has happened, and it is clear that there are no simple solutions,” Ms. More said. “I am heartened, however, by the number of people who have stepped forward.

“Together, through open, ongoing discussions, and clear and quick actions, we will begin making a difference.”

Nova Scotians who are experiencing traumatic events are encouraged to access support as quickly as possible. People can access services by calling the Kids Help Phone, 1-800-668-6868. They can also call 211 or 811, or go to novascotia.ca for a list of services, links, and phone numbers.