Young women today are subject to increasing pressure from aggressive marketing, the prevalence of social media, and the feminine ideals portrayed in the media. To deal with this pressure, some turn to drugs or other risky behaviour.
In order to respond to this new reality for young women, a group of Portage staff members recently gathered for an intensive two-day training that focused on the many issues that girls and women face today that can interplay with drug addiction problems.
The training session was based on Portage’s interpretation of “The Pink Monster”, a project developed by the Women’s Organisations Committee on Alcohol and Drug Issues (WOCAD), which seeks to make young women more aware of the power of advertising and to enable them to find their inner strength and make healthy choices. The training also included elements from the Bella Groups, which provide activities for youth centres that seek to prevent risk-taking behaviours among young girls, with regards to substance use, eating disorders, sexual relationships, among other things.
The training that these staff members have taken back to their respective Portage centres will help them to animate workshops that provide the young women in treatment with the opportunity to express and question themselves on various issues. Being able to discuss these issues with other women in a safe, respectful, and non-judgmental environment, participants will learn the importance of forming their own opinions and expressing them out loud.