Frequently Asked Questions

Parents

Can I revoke permission for my child’s data to be collected, used or disclosed?

Up until the day of the survey, you may withdraw your consent for your child to complete the survey (collection of your child’s information). To withdraw consent, contact your child’s classroom teacher. After the surveys have been completed, you may contact the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency at 639-625-2039 to withdraw consent for your child’s information to be used or disclosed. If you withdraw consent, you will be asked to complete a form with some identifying information so that your child’s survey can be found and destroyed. Please note that if your child is over 15 years of age, their approval/signature to destroy their survey is also required. It will not be possible to retroactively remove information already published in a report prior to the date of withdrawal of consent. However, reports created using survey data will not identify your child.

What if my child says something on the survey that indicates a risk to him/her or someone else?

Identifying questions (such as student name, date of birth, etc.) will not be asked in the survey; therefore students cannot be individually identified. Survey results could be reported at a class-room level; however, results will be reported at a school-level in order to ensure confidentiality of students. The only time that classroom-level data will be made available is when reporting intent to risk, which will be if a student writes something of concern in the margins of the paper survey tool (this will not be possible in the online survey) or as identified through specific questions (for example, suicide and self-harm). These results will be reported to the appropriate personnel at the school, and appropriate classroom-level interventions will be implemented.

Where can I get more information?

You can check the SAYCW website at www.saycw.com. For any other information regarding SAYCW and the Youth Health Survey, please contact Shardelle Brown, SAYCW Project Manager at 639-635-3080 or via email at shardelle.brown@saskcancer.ca.

Will the survey be available in French?

Yes, the SAYCW Youth Health Survey will be translated in French, and will be available either online or as a paper survey. Each school division will determine whether the survey is administered in French or English.

Can my child do the survey at home with me?

If your child is home-schooled please contact your school/school division home-school representative to send you the survey link. For confidentiality reasons, we ask that a private space in your home is provided for your child to complete the Youth Health Survey. Note: some schools may choose to complete the paper version of the survey.

How do you know that these questions will be useful?

Data gathered from school and health authorities identified a number of important themes (nutrition, screen time, mental health and obesity were rated highest) that are missing from surveys and that there is no single comprehensive survey currently implemented in Saskatchewan. This is where SAYCW fits in, having developed a provincial census-style youth health survey that is specifically geared to generate information about the current health and well-being of Saskatchewan youth.

Will asking questions about these topics encourage certain behaviours?

There is no evidence to suggest that asking students about health risk behaviours will encourage them to try that behaviour. Surveys have been conducted for many years with children and youth, and health professionals agree that the benefits of participating in such surveys far outweigh any potential risks. A World Health Organization (WHO) literature review concluded that there is “no support for the contention that sex education encourages experimentation or increased activity. If any effect is observed, almost without exception, it is in the direction of postponed initiation of sexual intercourse and/or effective use of contraceptives.”

Is my child too young to be asked questions about substance use, sexual health, etc.?

Youth in grades 7 to 12 are already taught about risk factors such as smoking, alcohol and drugs in school as part of the education curriculum. More specifically, students in elementary learn about physical, emotional and social changes that occur during puberty, the basic components of the reproductive system, fetal development and risk factors associated with exposure to blood borne diseases.

Why does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask about suicide and self-harm behaviours?

Teenage suicide is a serious problem in our province. The teenage years can be emotionally turbulent and stressful. Teenagers face pressures to succeed and fit in. They may struggle with self-esteem issues, self-doubt, and feelings of alienation. For some, this leads to suicide. Depression is also a major risk factor for teen suicide. For these reasons, the SAYCW Youth Health Survey asks various questions about mental health (including suicide and self-harm). Survey data will be used to develop or enhance policies and programs that contribute to the overall health and well-being of Saskatchewan youth, including their mental health and well-being.

Has SAYCW consulted with a Religious Coordinator about the content of the survey?

Yes, SAYCW has consulted with a Religious Coordinator. The Regina Catholic School Board supports the survey and has confirmed that all questions on the SAYCW Youth Health Survey are appropriate, based on the school curriculum.

Why does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask questions about sexual health?

The goal of asking questions about sexual health is to use the survey results to enhance programming, policies and awareness that aim to improve the sexual health and education of youth in Saskatchewan. Moreover, sexual health education promotes behaviours that help individuals to achieve positive results and avoid negative outcomes. Effective sexual health education maintains an open dialogue that respects individual beliefs. It is sensitive to diverse needs of Canadians irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture and religious background.

Why does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask for ethnicity?

Data from the SAYCW Youth Health Survey will provide a clear picture of the health and well-being of Saskatchewan youth. Students from different backgrounds will have different experiences and may have different levels of health or risk and therefore, may benefit from specific programs to stay or become healthy. We ask students to indicate their racial background (e.g., Asian, Black, Middle Eastern, White, Aboriginal, or mixed) to help understand these differences and to develop or enhance health promotion programs and services for these students.

Why does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask for postal code?

Data from the SAYCW Youth Health Survey will provide a clear picture of the health and well-being of Saskatchewan youth. It is important to identify whether a particular community or neighborhood lacks resources (i.e., access to a dentist) or experiences barriers to improved health and well-being. Postal codes will be used to determine the socioeconomic status (a measure which determines health and well-being) of the area where youth live. Postal codes will not be used to identify your child or family in the information that is reported.

Are there any risks to my child?

Participating in the survey will result in little or no risk to your child. The only potential risk is that some students might find certain questions too personal or uncomfortable to answer. School counsellors and staff will be available for those students who may require support.

What happens if my child is uncomfortable answering a question?

Your child can skip any question that makes them feel uneasy or uncomfortable. School staff will be asked to be available on the day that the students complete the survey to provide support or counselling to any student who is concerned with any question on the youth health survey.

What kind of questions does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask?

The focus of the SAYCW Youth Health Survey is on risk and protective factors for optimal health and well-being. Survey themes included are outlined in the table below. Please contact us for more details on survey themes and questions or click here to view the entire survey.
  • Demographics
  • Sleep
  • General Health
  • Substance Use
  • Dental Health
  • School Engagement and Support
  • Sun and UV Exposure
  • Feelings
  • Food
  • Safety
  • Physical Activity
  • Suicide and Self-Harm
  • Screen Time
  • Sexual Health

My child is healthy and does not have at-risk behaviours. Why should they participate?

Your child may not be affected by or involved in some of the activities asked about in the survey. This is still important to know because if we only had answers from youth with certain risk behaviours or backgrounds, we would not be able to get a true picture of the health and well-being of youth in our schools and communities. We also ask questions about health-promoting behaviours such as nutrition and physical activity patterns, which apply to everyone. By understanding the health and related behaviours of all youth, we will be better able to identify priority issues and possible supports.

What if I don’t want my child to participate in the survey?

A parental notification letter with a tear-away opt-out form will be sent home from the schools. Parents/guardians can complete the opt-out form if they DO NOT want their child to participate in the survey, and return the form to the child’s teacher.

Who else has access to my child’s (or their school’s) data?

The SAYCW will have access to your child’s data for the purpose of creating reports. Schools will receive reports with school-specific results, only the school has the authority to share the report with others. School Divisions will receive an aggregate report with survey results of participating schools within their Division. Health Regions will receive a report with survey results specific to participating schools within Health Region boundaries. School Divisions and Health Regions will not see individual school reports. A provincial report will be released with survey results specific to all participating youth. Data will not be released to a SAYCW member or another organization unless the member or organization has submitted a formal request to the SAYCW. Agreements that identify requirements for security and privacy will also be required for use of the survey data. All researchers will also require approval from the University of Saskatchewan Research Ethics Board. Individual student results are never reported. All results are reported in an aggregate or combined format to maintain student confidentiality.

Is it mandatory for students to participate?

No, it is not mandatory for students to participate in the SAYCW Youth Health Survey. Student participation is voluntary. Students may choose to not participate in the survey regardless of parental consent. Students may skip any questions that they do not wish to answer and may stop participating in the survey at any time.

Can I see my child’s results?

No. In order to protect the privacy and confidentiality of students, data regarding individuals will not be shared. Survey results will be combined at the school-level to protect the identity of participating students. The SAYCW will only report broad, general health trends across age, sex, racial background, and other important groupings that may play a role in youth health and well-being.

Will anyone be able to identify my child?

The purpose of performing the survey is not to collect information about specific individuals, but rather to gather data about general health trends across age, sex, racial background, and other important groupings that may play a role in youth health and well-being. To limit the risk of your child being identified, access to survey data will be limited. Reports that use survey data will not display information in a way that identifies individual students, and survey results will be combined at the school-level.

Who is eligible to participate?

All students from Grade 7 to 12 across the province will have the opportunity to participate. This will ensure that data is locally relevant to schools and communities and applicable to the Saskatchewan experience.

Are there other surveys that will capture the same information?

In the summer of 2013, the SAYCW initiated an environmental scan to identify:
  • existing surveys from across Canada,
  • the extent to which youth health surveys are implemented by school authorities and regional health authorities in Saskatchewan, and
  • content preferences by school authorities for future surveys.
  Twenty-one school authorities and 12 health authorities participated in this environmental scan. Many school authorities identified a number of important themes missing from existing surveys and expressed that there is no single comprehensive survey currently implemented in Saskatchewan. Hence, the need for a survey like the one being implemented by the SAYCW.

Why is this survey important? What difference will it make?

The SAYCW Youth Health Survey will address current gaps in knowledge at a local level, for example, in the fields of mental health and substance abuse. Schools will have the opportunity to own and understand the data gathered, and to use it to take action to improve youth health and well-being (e.g., develop programs). Furthermore, there will be a bank of resources that can be accessed by schools to support action and make changes that have been proven to work in other schools.

What is this survey about?

The SAYCW has developed a provincial Youth Health Survey (targeting students from Grades 7 to 12) that will capture valuable information regarding the health of Saskatchewan youth. The focus is on collecting information on risk and protective factors for optimal health and well-being. Providing local information that is most relevant to schools, communities and organizations interested in improving youth health and well-being is one of the main goals for the survey.

What is SAYCW?

The Saskatchewan Alliance for Youth and Community Well-being (SAYCW) is comprised of various partners committed to improving the health and well-being of youth and communities in Saskatchewan. Stakeholder representation includes the health and education sectors, First Nations authorities, First Nations and Métis Elders, Francophone, federal and provincial government, and academia. The SAYCW is governed by the Steering Committee, which is co-chaired by the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency (SCA) and the League of Educational Administrators, Directors, and Superintendents of Saskatchewan (LEADS). Please contact us for a complete list of member organizations.

Schools

Is there a preferred consent process?

Although school divisions have the option to choose, SAYCW is encouraging school divisions to select the passive consent process. Best practices in literature and other similar projects state that active consent procedures have resulted in substantially lower student participation rates. Low response rates from active consent would result in reports that are not representative of the whole student body, reducing the ability to accurately inform and guide prevention programming initiatives. Furthermore, active consent not only yields low response rates, but also results in under-representation of important groups, most commonly minority and vulnerable populations. Evidence also suggests that students with high risk behaviours (substance use, mental health concerns, etc.) are less likely to opt-in to participate in surveys, resulting in data that does not accurately reflect the true health status of youth. The literature also suggests that non-response in surveys is due, largely, to inertia on the part of parents in returning consent forms rather than genuine unwillingness to permit their children’s participation in surveys. During the SAYCW pilot process, the SAYCW asked teachers about their preference for the consent process. Most teachers and school staff expressed that passive consent would be preferred, as long as parents were informed of the survey and the process. The SAYCW also approached the solicitor for the Saskatchewan School Board Association (SSBA), who expressed that passive consent is preferred, since doing otherwise would be difficult to administer. Passive consent is also more consistent from a legal perspective. Thus, based on evidence and best practices, as well as based on feedback from Saskatchewan school administrators and teachers, we encourage schools to implement a passive consent process.

Do parents need to provide consent for students to participate in the survey?

For the SAYCW survey implementation, school divisions are given the option to choose between a passive or active consent process. Regardless of the process, parents would be informed of the SAYCW Youth Health Survey via a handbook that will be sent home with the students. In passive consent, parents would be considered to have agreed to have their child participate in the survey unless they specifically decline to participate, either through the opt-out form (parents) or at the time of survey administration (students). In active consent, written parental permission (return of the opt-in form) is required before a student can participate.

Where can I get more information?

You can check the SAYCW website at www.saycw.com. For any other information regarding SAYCW and the Youth Health Survey, please contact Shardelle Brown, SAYCW Project Manager at 639-635-3080 or via email at shardelle.brown@saskcancer.ca.

Will the survey be available in French?

Yes, the SAYCW Youth Health Survey will be translated in French, and will be available either online or as a paper survey. Each school division will determine whether the survey is administered in French or English.

Was the survey tested?

Yes, the SAYCW did conduct a pilot study in October-November of 2014 to test the Youth Health Survey tool. Over 200 grade 7 to 12 students, from 6 schools across Saskatchewan, participated in the SAYCW pilot project. The purpose of the study was to ensure that the questions were appropriate, reliable and that students understood them in the way we meant to ask. As part of the pilot, all students completed the survey twice (to test for consistency in answers), and some students participated in focus group discussions where more details on specific sections or questions were discussed. Students were also given the opportunity to submit anonymous comments after completion of the survey. We also received feedback from teachers regarding the clarity of the process, ease of implementation, instructions and student behavior during the field test. Based on the pilot results and student feedback, changes to the survey were made.

How do you know that these questions will be useful?

Data gathered from school and health authorities identified a number of important themes (nutrition, screen time, mental health and obesity were rated highest) that are missing from surveys and that there is no single comprehensive survey currently implemented in Saskatchewan. This is where SAYCW fits in, having developed a provincial census-style youth health survey that is specifically geared to generate information about the current health and well-being of Saskatchewan youth.

Is my child too young to be asked questions about substance use, sexual health, etc.?

Youth in grades 7 to 12 are already taught about risk factors such as smoking, alcohol and drugs in school as part of the education curriculum. More specifically, students in elementary learn about physical, emotional and social changes that occur during puberty, the basic components of the reproductive system, fetal development and risk factors associated with exposure to blood borne diseases.

Why does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask about suicide and self-harm behaviours?

Teenage suicide is a serious problem in our province. The teenage years can be emotionally turbulent and stressful. Teenagers face pressures to succeed and fit in. They may struggle with self-esteem issues, self-doubt, and feelings of alienation. For some, this leads to suicide. Depression is also a major risk factor for teen suicide. For these reasons, the SAYCW Youth Health Survey asks various questions about mental health (including suicide and self-harm). Survey data will be used to develop or enhance policies and programs that contribute to the overall health and well-being of Saskatchewan youth, including their mental health and well-being.

Has SAYCW consulted with a Religious Coordinator about the content of the survey?

Yes, SAYCW has consulted with a Religious Coordinator. The Regina Catholic School Board supports the survey and has confirmed that all questions on the SAYCW Youth Health Survey are appropriate, based on the school curriculum.

Why does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask questions about sexual health?

The goal of asking questions about sexual health is to use the survey results to enhance programming, policies and awareness that aim to improve the sexual health and education of youth in Saskatchewan. Moreover, sexual health education promotes behaviours that help individuals to achieve positive results and avoid negative outcomes. Effective sexual health education maintains an open dialogue that respects individual beliefs. It is sensitive to diverse needs of Canadians irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture and religious background.

Why does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask for ethnicity?

Data from the SAYCW Youth Health Survey will provide a clear picture of the health and well-being of Saskatchewan youth. Students from different backgrounds will have different experiences and may have different levels of health or risk and therefore, may benefit from specific programs to stay or become healthy. We ask students to indicate their racial background (e.g., Asian, Black, Middle Eastern, White, Aboriginal, or mixed) to help understand these differences and to develop or enhance health promotion programs and services for these students.

Why does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask for postal code?

Data from the SAYCW Youth Health Survey will provide a clear picture of the health and well-being of Saskatchewan youth. It is important to identify whether a particular community or neighborhood lacks resources (i.e., access to a dentist) or experiences barriers to improved health and well-being. Postal codes will be used to determine the socioeconomic status (a measure which determines health and well-being) of the area where youth live. Postal codes will not be used to identify your child or family in the information that is reported.

What kind of questions does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask?

The focus of the SAYCW Youth Health Survey is on risk and protective factors for optimal health and well-being. Survey themes included are outlined in the table below. Please contact us for more details on survey themes and questions or click here to view the entire survey.
  • Demographics
  • Sleep
  • General Health
  • Substance Use
  • Dental Health
  • School Engagement and Support
  • Sun and UV Exposure
  • Feelings
  • Food
  • Safety
  • Physical Activity
  • Suicide and Self-Harm
  • Screen Time
  • Sexual Health

Is it mandatory for students to participate?

No, it is not mandatory for students to participate in the SAYCW Youth Health Survey. Student participation is voluntary. Students may choose to not participate in the survey regardless of parental consent. Students may skip any questions that they do not wish to answer and may stop participating in the survey at any time.

Is it mandatory for schools to participate?

Although we encourage all schools in the province to participate in the SAYCW Youth Health Survey, school participation is voluntary.

Can I see the Privacy Impact Assessment?

As the data custodian, the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency completed a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) in regards to the SAYCW Youth Health Survey. The PIA and response from the Office of the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner can be made available upon request.

How will students’ privacy be protected?

Protecting student privacy is paramount to SAYCW. To ensure that privacy risks have been identified and properly managed, an assessment called a “privacy impact assessment” has been conducted. The University of Saskatchewan Research Ethics Board has also approved the SAYCW Youth Health Survey. The Saskatchewan Cancer Agency was selected by the SAYCW Steering Committee to store the data because the Agency has substantial experience storing data. While in the custody of the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, the survey data will be treated and handled in accordance with Saskatchewan’s Health Information Protection Act and in accordance with the SCA’s policies and procedures.

Who is eligible to participate?

All students from Grade 7 to 12 across the province will have the opportunity to participate. This will ensure that data is locally relevant to schools and communities and applicable to the Saskatchewan experience.

What happens after the survey is complete?

Each participating school will receive a report specific to the students in their school. School Divisions will also receive an aggregate report with survey results specific to participating schools within the Division. The reports will not display the results of the survey in a way that will allow your child to be identified. Based on a school’s survey results, the SAYCW will work with the school to identify appropriate programs and policies that target optimal health and well-being outcomes for youth within that school.

What is the financial cost to my school?

There is no financial cost to schools. The SAYCW Youth Health Survey is funded by the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency.

How much time will it take for my students to take the survey?

For students doing the survey online, the average completion time is 20 to 30 minutes. For students doing the paper survey, the average time is 30 to 40 minutes.

How will students take the survey?

The SAYCW Youth Health Survey will be administered by the Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit (SELU). To minimize survey burden and strain on schools, each school will be able to choose an appropriate time frame within which to complete survey administration. Schools can choose between an online or a paper survey. For schools doing the survey online, coordination regarding computers and internet access will be required. For schools doing the paper option, surveys will have to be collected and mailed to SELU (pre-paid secure courier service will be provided).

What is involved for participating schools?

Schools will be asked to distribute a parental notification letter that includes a tear-away opt-out form that will be sent home for parents/guardians. Parents/guardians can complete the opt-out form if they DO NOT want their child to participate in the survey, and return the form to the child’s teacher.

Does the Saskatchewan School Board Association (SSBA) endorse this survey?

Yes, the President of the Saskatchewan School Board Association formally endorses the SAYCW Youth Health Survey and SSBA is a partner of the SAYCW.

Does the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) endorse this survey?

Yes, the Provincial Executive of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation formally endorses the SAYCW Youth Health Survey and STF is a partner of the SAYCW.

What are the benefits of participating in your survey?

All schools will receive reports about the students in their school. School Divisions and Health Regions will receive reports about schools in their division or region. These reports will provide a comprehensive picture of health and social issues of Grade 7 to 12 students across Saskatchewan. Using a school’s survey results as a guide, the SAYCW will work with the school to identify appropriate programs and policies that target optimal health and well-being outcomes for youth. Schools and health organizations can use the survey results to enhance programming, policies, awareness, education, and for evaluation.

How is this survey different from others in the province?

The following points highlight some of the ways that the SAYCW Youth Health Survey is different from most other surveys.
  • The SAYCW Youth Health Survey is a census style survey, where all students from Grade 7 to 12 across the province are invited to participate. This will ensure that data is locally relevant to all schools and communities, versus a representative sample survey (like most other surveys), where only a small number of participants are included. Thus, data from a representative sample may not be applicable to all schools and communities.
  • The SAYCW Youth Health Survey is not a research project. The primary objective of the survey is to generate locally relevant data for schools and communities to assist with evidence-based planning and evaluation of policies and programs. All other uses of the data (i.e., research, etc.) are secondary.
  • The data will be housed locally in Saskatchewan and not in another province or country. The Saskatchewan Cancer Agency (SCA) will act as a data trustee. The data will be protected by strict data governance policies, and the SAYCW and the SCA will be compliant with relevant provincial and federal privacy legislation.
  • Ensuring engagement and participation of First Nations and Métis partners is essential, therefore compliance with OCAP (Ownership, Control, Access and Possession) principles is a high priority.
  • All schools will receive reports specifically regarding their students. School Divisions and Health Regions will also receive their specific reports, with comparisons to the provincial picture.
The SAYCW is developing a bank of resources that can be accessed by schools to support action and make changes that have been proven to work in other schools. The SAYCW stakeholders will support schools to take action based on their survey results.

Are there other surveys that will capture the same information?

In the summer of 2013, the SAYCW initiated an environmental scan to identify:
  • existing surveys from across Canada,
  • the extent to which youth health surveys are implemented by school authorities and regional health authorities in Saskatchewan, and
  • content preferences by school authorities for future surveys.
  Twenty-one school authorities and 12 health authorities participated in this environmental scan. Many school authorities identified a number of important themes missing from existing surveys and expressed that there is no single comprehensive survey currently implemented in Saskatchewan. Hence, the need for a survey like the one being implemented by the SAYCW.

Why is this survey important? What difference will it make?

The SAYCW Youth Health Survey will address current gaps in knowledge at a local level, for example, in the fields of mental health and substance abuse. Schools will have the opportunity to own and understand the data gathered, and to use it to take action to improve youth health and well-being (e.g., develop programs). Furthermore, there will be a bank of resources that can be accessed by schools to support action and make changes that have been proven to work in other schools.

What is this survey about?

The SAYCW has developed a provincial Youth Health Survey (targeting students from Grades 7 to 12) that will capture valuable information regarding the health of Saskatchewan youth. The focus is on collecting information on risk and protective factors for optimal health and well-being. Providing local information that is most relevant to schools, communities and organizations interested in improving youth health and well-being is one of the main goals for the survey.

What is SAYCW?

The Saskatchewan Alliance for Youth and Community Well-being (SAYCW) is comprised of various partners committed to improving the health and well-being of youth and communities in Saskatchewan. Stakeholder representation includes the health and education sectors, First Nations authorities, First Nations and Métis Elders, Francophone, federal and provincial government, and academia. The SAYCW is governed by the Steering Committee, which is co-chaired by the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency (SCA) and the League of Educational Administrators, Directors, and Superintendents of Saskatchewan (LEADS). Please contact us for a complete list of member organizations.

Students

How can I see my information?

You may request a copy of your completed survey data by contacting the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency at 639-625-2039. The Saskatchewan Cancer Agency is the organization that is storing and protecting the information you provided when you completed the survey in your school. If you think you see an error in your survey responses, you may contact the Agency to request a correction.

How long will the survey data be kept?

Survey data will be stored and kept at the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency until the goals of SAYCW are met. SAYCW plans to survey youth every few years into the future to track youth health and well-being over time. This will help SAYCW and others to develop health promotion programs, interventions and policies to improve the health and well-being of Saskatchewan youth. Therefore, there are no plans to destroy the survey data that is collected. If SAYCW activities stop for any reason, the survey data will be stored/kept for 6 years and then destroyed.

I need help/someone to talk to …

If you need someone to talk to, or need help with anything, here is a list of places and people you can call.
Advocate for Children and Youth 500 - 350 3rd Avenue North, Saskatoon, SK 1-800-322-7221 (306) 933-6700 contact@saskadvocate.ca
Bullying Help Line 1-888-456-2323
Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-387-KIDS (5437)
Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 kidshelpphone.ca
National Suicide Prevention Line 1-800-273-8255
Problem Gambling Help Line 1-800-306-6789
Public Legal Education Association (306) 653-1868 plea.org
Right By You Campaign (Partners in Mental Health) rightbyyou.ca
Saskatchewan Youth in Care and Custody Network Inc. 510 - 2125 11th Avenue, Regina, SK 1-888-528-8061 (306) 522-1533
 

Where can I get more information?

You can check the SAYCW website at www.saycw.com. For any other information regarding SAYCW and the Youth Health Survey, please contact Shardelle Brown, SAYCW Project Manager at 639-635-3080 or via email at shardelle.brown@saskcancer.ca.

Is my child too young to be asked questions about substance use, sexual health, etc.?

Youth in grades 7 to 12 are already taught about risk factors such as smoking, alcohol and drugs in school as part of the education curriculum. More specifically, students in elementary learn about physical, emotional and social changes that occur during puberty, the basic components of the reproductive system, fetal development and risk factors associated with exposure to blood borne diseases.

Why does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask about suicide and self-harm behaviours?

Teenage suicide is a serious problem in our province. The teenage years can be emotionally turbulent and stressful. Teenagers face pressures to succeed and fit in. They may struggle with self-esteem issues, self-doubt, and feelings of alienation. For some, this leads to suicide. Depression is also a major risk factor for teen suicide. For these reasons, the SAYCW Youth Health Survey asks various questions about mental health (including suicide and self-harm). Survey data will be used to develop or enhance policies and programs that contribute to the overall health and well-being of Saskatchewan youth, including their mental health and well-being.

Has SAYCW consulted with a Religious Coordinator about the content of the survey?

Yes, SAYCW has consulted with a Religious Coordinator. The Regina Catholic School Board supports the survey and has confirmed that all questions on the SAYCW Youth Health Survey are appropriate, based on the school curriculum.

Why does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask questions about sexual health?

The goal of asking questions about sexual health is to use the survey results to enhance programming, policies and awareness that aim to improve the sexual health and education of youth in Saskatchewan. Moreover, sexual health education promotes behaviours that help individuals to achieve positive results and avoid negative outcomes. Effective sexual health education maintains an open dialogue that respects individual beliefs. It is sensitive to diverse needs of Canadians irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture and religious background.

Why does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask for ethnicity?

Data from the SAYCW Youth Health Survey will provide a clear picture of the health and well-being of Saskatchewan youth. Students from different backgrounds will have different experiences and may have different levels of health or risk and therefore, may benefit from specific programs to stay or become healthy. We ask students to indicate their racial background (e.g., Asian, Black, Middle Eastern, White, Aboriginal, or mixed) to help understand these differences and to develop or enhance health promotion programs and services for these students.

Why does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask for postal code?

Data from the SAYCW Youth Health Survey will provide a clear picture of the health and well-being of Saskatchewan youth. It is important to identify whether a particular community or neighborhood lacks resources (i.e., access to a dentist) or experiences barriers to improved health and well-being. Postal codes will be used to determine the socioeconomic status (a measure which determines health and well-being) of the area where youth live. Postal codes will not be used to identify your child or family in the information that is reported.

What kind of questions does the SAYCW Youth Health Survey ask?

The focus of the SAYCW Youth Health Survey is on risk and protective factors for optimal health and well-being. Survey themes included are outlined in the table below. Please contact us for more details on survey themes and questions or click here to view the entire survey.
  • Demographics
  • Sleep
  • General Health
  • Substance Use
  • Dental Health
  • School Engagement and Support
  • Sun and UV Exposure
  • Feelings
  • Food
  • Safety
  • Physical Activity
  • Suicide and Self-Harm
  • Screen Time
  • Sexual Health

Is it mandatory for students to participate?

No, it is not mandatory for students to participate in the SAYCW Youth Health Survey. Student participation is voluntary. Students may choose to not participate in the survey regardless of parental consent. Students may skip any questions that they do not wish to answer and may stop participating in the survey at any time.

How much time will it take for my students to take the survey?

For students doing the survey online, the average completion time is 20 to 30 minutes. For students doing the paper survey, the average time is 30 to 40 minutes.

What is this survey about?

The SAYCW has developed a provincial Youth Health Survey (targeting students from Grades 7 to 12) that will capture valuable information regarding the health of Saskatchewan youth. The focus is on collecting information on risk and protective factors for optimal health and well-being. Providing local information that is most relevant to schools, communities and organizations interested in improving youth health and well-being is one of the main goals for the survey.

What is SAYCW?

The Saskatchewan Alliance for Youth and Community Well-being (SAYCW) is comprised of various partners committed to improving the health and well-being of youth and communities in Saskatchewan. Stakeholder representation includes the health and education sectors, First Nations authorities, First Nations and Métis Elders, Francophone, federal and provincial government, and academia. The SAYCW is governed by the Steering Committee, which is co-chaired by the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency (SCA) and the League of Educational Administrators, Directors, and Superintendents of Saskatchewan (LEADS). Please contact us for a complete list of member organizations.

Support youth and community well-being through the collaborative action of community partners working together. Through evidence, tools and resources, SAYCW supports stakeholders to turn the knowledge gained through the youth health survey into health promoting action.

SAYCW 2016 Provincial Youth Health Report
The Saskatchewan Alliance for Youth and Community Well-being (SAYCW) is comprised of various partners committed to improving the health and well-being of youth and communities in Saskatchewan....

Read More

This brief questionnaire seeks feedback from schools, school divisions, health regions, and other Saskatchewan stakeholders on the SAYCW Youth Health Survey, the results reports, and the school and community grant. We hope to learn from you to improve SAYCW’s work in conducting our next Youth Health Survey, preparing the results reports, and translating the knowledge into action.

Click here to complete our questionnaire

Contact

Please fill out the form below, or visit our SAYCW Staff page to contact us directly.