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Angra do Heroísmo ,  July 31, 2018

Pioneering programme for prevention of risk behaviour to be implemented in schools by September

The Regional Director for Prevention and Control of Dependencies announced yesterday that the "Preventing in Family and Community" programme will be implemented in three elementary school groups.
"All tools have been prepared and the organisation of sessions for parents and children will be the next step. For that reason, we are establishing partnerships with other entities, including private social solidarity institutions," said the government official.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with the Board of Caritas, Suzete Frias explained that, in a first phase, the programme will be directed to vulnerable groups; the pilot project includes 14 sessions.
The "Preventing in Family and Community" programme consists of adapting the Family Skill programme to the reality of our Region. It had already been adapted to the Spanish reality by the University of Balearic Islands and to the Portuguese reality by CEIFAC - Integrated Family Support Centre of Coimbra and the University of Coimbra. The initiative intends to reinforce the protective factors in the family as well as to reduce the risk ones.
In the first module, this parent skills project will comprise children aged between 7 and 11, being a pioneering initiative in the country. The European Union already considers it an effective strategy in preventing drug use and addiction.
"The novelty of this project lies the organisation of joint sessions where all skills and contents are put into practice in order to strengthen family ties and the relationships among family members," said Suzete Frias.
In September last year, Luís Ballester, professor at the University of the Balearic Islands, began the training sessions aimed at professionals working in the areas of health, social solidarity and education as well as in private social solidarity institutions.
The Regional Directorate for Prevention and Control of Dependencies, together with the Directorate-General of Social Reintegration, has defined three vulnerable territories where the initiative will be implemented: two on São Miguel and one on Terceira.
"Besides dealing with the problem, the goal of the Regional Directorate also concerns the promotion of protective factors. Using health terms, these are the vaccines protect these children by promoting protective factors and reducing risk factors, that is, the viruses that can make them vulnerable," explained the government official.
Suzete Frias revealed that this programme, included in the Action Plan or the Reduction of Alcohol-Related Problems, will be implemented throughout the regional territory, after the results of the experimental project.
"We have also planned in partnership with the Universities of the Azores and Porto and with the University of the Balearic Islands the adaptation of five universal prevention sessions for all children so that we may establish a relationship and strengthen family ties among family members," stressed the Regional Director.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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