The name might be ‘Quit Now’ but as far as Stacie Byrne is concerned cutting back or reducing addictive behaviour, and having a support network in place to help facilitate it, is just as important.
The project lead for the local Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) team, Byrne notes that while ‘Quit Now’ might be specifically about tobacco products, she welcomes those also struggling with vaping or cannabis to sign up.
“When you register online, there are questions about how many cigarettes you smoke a day. I’m encouraging people to get creative, because right now there is no support for people wanting to quit or cut back on vaping or cannabis. Similar rules apply – there is addictive behaviours, stressors and emotions around using or not using,” says Byrne.
“I hope this challenge can help people to even just reduce their use of tobacco, cannabis, vaping, or chew products.”
The challenge has been going for some time, and on March 5th, a draw was held at Revelstoke Secondary School (RSS) A grade 11 student won a $75 dollar gift card, a toque and thermos. There were resources on hand for those who wished to quite or reduce their habits, as well as a booklet on supporting someone who is trying to quit.
“The reason we held the draw at RSS was because we had a significant amount of youth enter the contest,” says Byrne.
The ‘Quit Now’ challenge has extended their deadline, and there is still time to register. Another draw will be held in a month, with another great prize will be up for grabs.
“I’m hoping that, in addition to people signing up online, local businesses will host a sign up sheet. In a month, whichever place has the most sign ups will be where we host the draw, highlighting that space.”
Selkirk Medical Clinic will be hosting a sign up sheet. And other stores or businesses interested in doing so are welcome to reach out to Byrne. “I’d love a dental office to have a sheet,” she says. If you’re interested in hosting a sheet or donating a prize, please contact Byrne at email@example.com.
High School Success
Though the community challenge will have one final draw in a month for those who register, Byrne hopes to run the challenge continuously for local youth. It is an effort to build upon the seventeen students from RSS that registered and to continue encouraging the youth in healthy habits and curtailing harmful addictions.
“After the draw, I was talking to the kids and they were like ‘what’s next?” explains Byrne. “They wanted to keep cutting back and have more chances to enter a draw. Together we came up with a tracking sheet where they can record their cravings, and we decided to continue the challenge to offer consistent support. So it is a bit more involved that the challenge for the community.”
Any local businesses willing to donate a gift certificate or prize towards the youth program would be greatly appreciated. Please feel contact Byrne at firstname.lastname@example.org