The Oxford County Strategy calls for greater evidence-informed prevention initiatives, particularly those targeted at children and youth and the broader community. The goal of these prevention initiatives is to prevent problematic substance use from occurring and to deter or delay problematic substance use within Oxford County. Prevention work has many layers when it comes to looking at problematic substance use. There are prevention strategies at the individual level, family and friendship level, community level, and societal level. Much like a drop of water creating a ripple effect, an action taken at any of these levels will have an impact on all the interconnected layers. For example, when a strong and cohesive community places value and priority on community safety and connection, it has a positive influence on the actions of individuals, families, and friends. Furthermore, it will influence how those individuals, families, and friends vote and advocate for policies that reflect this value.


To prevent problematic substance use from occurring and to deter or delay problematic substance use within Oxford County by increasing various prevention initiatives.

Early Identification of Mental Illness

FASD Awareness


PreVenture is an evidence-based prevention program that uses personality targeted interventions to promote mental health and delay substance use among teens. As a strengths-based program, PreVenture workshops are designed to help students learn useful coping skills, set long term goals and channel their personality towards achieving them.

Not an Experiment

Designed to educate youth on the dangers of vaping, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) created an escape room game concept with facts and resources about vaping.

Use Your Instincts

To help communicate some of the health risks of vaping, alcohol, and cannabis to high school students an awareness campaign was created called Use Your Instincts.

Local Initiatives for Prevention for Family & Friendship Level of Influence

Rethink Your Drinking

Rethink Your Drinking is an awareness campaign that encourages moderation or low-risk drinking to support healthy lifestyle choices and reduce short and long-term risks associated with alcohol consumption.

Children’s Aid Society of Oxford County

The Hub for Parents and Caregivers

The Hub for Parents and Caregivers is a space for learning, community, encouragement, and connection – where parents and caregivers can be reminded that they are not alone – both through learning about resources in their communities and through connecting with other parents and caregivers.

Domestic Abuse Services Oxford (DASO)

Trauma-informed counselling for women* 16+ (must be living in Oxford County) who are impacted by domestic abuse and/or homelessness. To arrange an appointment with the Community Counsellor call 1-800-265-1938 or 519-539-7488 ext. 234

Therapeutic Sexual Assault Counselling for Oxford County women* 16+ (contact information as above). Please be aware that both the programs are only able to offer limited sessions and there is often a waiting list for appointments.

Believe in Me, a psychoeducational and support program to help children and adolescents deal with the effects of their mother being abused. Topics include anger control, conflict resolution and self-esteem. Mothers attend their own support group at the same time. For more information, or to make a referral, call 519-539-7488 ext. 224 or 1-800-265-1938.

Local Initiatives for Prevention for Community Level of Influence

Community Advocacy – Active Bystander Training (ACT)

The Training Active Bystanders (TAB) program helps participants recognize when they are bystanders, analyze situations, and evaluate the consequences for everyone involved. TAB heightens bystanders’ power. It teaches how bystanders can interrupt harm doing and generate positive actions by others. Active bystandership does not mean aggression against the harm doer. It means taking responsible action to help people in need instead of remaining passive and becoming complicit. Bystanders gain the competencies they need if they decide to take action when they witness something they feel is unfair, or wrong, or troubling.


Planet Youth

Planet Youth is a community-based prevention model, designed to reduce and prevent substance misuse among youth while helping to build and strengthen communities. It was pioneered in Iceland over 20 years ago and is now in use in 27 countries worldwide, including Lanark County, Ontario.


Community Education – ADSTV

Presentations are available for persons/groups of all ages in the Thames Valley area. If you are interested in discussing your presentation needs please contact the intake line at 519-673-3242 x234


Community Safety – Neighbourhood Watch Programs, Prescription disposal programs


Community Engagement – Parks and Recreation; Youth Centres, Oxford Youth Hub; Schools (parent councils, clubs and supports)

Local Initiatives/Options for Prevention for Societal Level of Influence

Community Safety and Wellbeing Plans


Municipal Alcohol Policies


Local strengths-based data collection for policy and program recommendations (Planet Youth, Spaces to Go and People to Know Situational Assessment, Children and Youth Mental Health Strategy Situational Assessment)