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United Way Ottawa – project s.t.e.p.

S_T_E_P_Reoprt_Cover_ENGThis report marks the first evaluation that looks at the impact of mental health and addictions counselling on participating students in non-mainstream schools based at three project s.t.e.p. supported agencies.

The project s.t.e.p. (support, treatment, education, prevention) initiative is the Ottawa community’s response to addressing the need for substance abuse treatment, as well as prevention and early intervention for youth in both mainstream and non-mainstream academic settings. It is a partnership involving community partners, local champions, and leaders.

The purpose of this evaluation is to measure the impact of specific counselling on drug and alcohol abuse, living conditions, and educational performance in three populations of at-risk youth, served by project s.t.e.p. agencies, and in one group of youth served by a non-project s.t.e.p. agency.

Some highlights of the data in this report include:

  • 71% of youth who reported drug use reduced their frequency of use
  • 60% of youth who reported drug use increased participation in harm reduction (stepping off to “softer” drugs, cessation of use)
  • 39% of the 165 participating students improved their living conditions
  • 76% of youth felt that project s.t.e.p. helped them build or rebuild healthy relationships with their family, partner, or community
  • 85% of youth felt better about themselves after participating in project s.t.e.p.

“They have heard everything I have done and what I do, my problems and regrets and still stood by to defend me and worked with me to make things better.”- Youth

The first round of data validates that each project s.t.e.p. agency is working with a unique population who are at different stages of stability in their lives. Each of these groups has different motivations and needs, both for mental health and addictions counselling, as well as educational support.

There remains much to be explored with these programs, and this report concludes with recommendations and a summary of the issues and challenges at hand.

To read more, download the full report in either English or French:

Download the Report   Télécharger le rapport