Planet Youth is an international evidence-based primary prevention model that has been developed in order to reduce substance use rates amongst adolescents.
It works by directly targeting the risk and protective factors in young people’s lives that determine their substance use behaviours and enhancing the social environment they are growing up in. By reducing the known risk factors and strengthening the known protective factors the problems associated with adolescent substance use can be reduced or stopped before they arise. The Planet Youth model offers the opportunity to improve the long-term health and life outcomes for young people and goes far beyond simply reducing their substance use rates.
The model is underpinned by the data derived from the administration of the Planet Youth questionnaire.
This comprehensive lifestyle questionnaire is administered to the 15-16 year olds in the target community and it examines a great many aspects of their lives. There are questions on their substance use, health, mental health, physical activity, family and school experience, internet use, bullying, and many other categories. There are 73 questions in total in the current Planet Youth questionnaire.
The data returned from the survey is used to inform the development of suitable interventions in the community that will help address the known risk and protective for young people and thus improve outcomes. In this pilot phase of the project, there will be three initial Planet Youth surveys, conducted in 2018, 2020, and 2022.