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Youth resiliency project acknowledged in Alberta legislature

December 11, 2017
Lisa Weighton
RYSE Youth

Three young people from the ResiliencebyDesign Research Innovation Lab got a boost this week from Drayton Valley-Devon MLA, Mark Smith, when he read a member statement in the Alberta Provincial Legislature.

The RbD Lab, established in 2015 by Professor Robin Cox under the School of Humanitarian Studies, involves a team of faculty, post-doctoral associates and graduate students. It brings together interdisciplinary researchers and youth to explore community resilience, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and social innovation.

Chase Combs, Lacey Sicinsky and Sarah Jane Peltier are on the youth advisory councils for RbD’s Resilient Youth in Stressed Environments (RYSE) project in Drayton Valley.

RYSE, a partnership led by Dalhousie University’s Resilience Research Centre, focuses on understanding and contributing to resilience and well-being of youth in three communities involved in oil and gas production. In addition to Drayton Valley, teams are also conducting research in Secunda, South Africa and Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

“Oil and gas production and climate change have significant impacts on social, economic and environmental systems that often effect young people’s mental health and overall wellbeing,” says Smith. “This research is critically important in Drayton Valley as educators and mental health professionals report rates of anxiety and depression higher than the national average and a threefold increase in the case loads of family support workers.”

Smith commended the youth involved in the project for engaging in conversations that will shape their future.

Learn more about how researchers and youth are working together to study and build resilience