Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence

Saskatchewan Rural Youth Healthy Lifestyles and Risk Behaviour Project  

The overall goal of this project was to assess the needs of youth in rural Saskatchewan in order to encourage healthy lifestyles and reduce risk behaviours. Very little information exists for rural Saskatchewan or indeed rural western Canada about the particular issues facing rural youth. The results of this project have informed a community consultation about creating community plans to promote healthy lifestyles for rural youth. It has also given service providers, parents and the general public a better understanding of the issues facing youth in their local communities.

What did we ask youth about?

The study focused on the following issues facing rural youth:

  • General health
  • Sexuality
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol use
  • Drug use (illegal, prescription and non-prescription drugs)
  • Healthy eating and weight
  • Physical activity
  • Gambling
  • Personal safety (seatbelt and bicycle helmet use, fighting, stolen or damaged property, etc.)
  • Depression and thoughts of suicide
Youth were also asked to provide ideas on how to promote healthier lifestyle choices.

What did we do?

The project involved a number of initiatives. These included:

  • Forming a steering committee with key community partners from health, education social services and justice sectors.

  • Interviews with key informants-professionals working as service providers for rural youth dealing with substance abuse issues.

  • A questionnaire administered in the classrooms of 954 youth in grades 7 to 12 in 34 schools in rural Saskatchewan, Canada

  • Focus groups with 25 rural youth in three high schools who had participated the questionnaire.

  • Information nights in communities to present and discuss the results.

  • Planning sessions with communities to develop strategies around healthy lifestyles for rural youth.
A series of posters and fact sheets were produced in this project:


Information on the Study
Tobacco Use
Alcohol Use
Drug Use
Physical Activity
Weight and Healthy Eating
Personal Safety, Depression and Suicide

Fact Sheets

Project Overview
General Health
Personal Safety
Sad Feelings and Attempted Suicide
Tobacco Use
Alcohol Use
Illegal Drug Use
Prescription and 'Over-the-Counter' Drugs
Perceptions of Weight and Eating Habits
Physical Activity

Back to top of page