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Doing OK? Checking in on the mental health of BC youth

This report shares findings on the mental health of BC youth from the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey.

Download / Media release / By youth for youth poster

Youth vaping during COVID-19

In June, September, and December 2020, 28 youth researchers from across BC collected over 3,500 surveys from their peers about their experiences with vaping during the COVID-19 pandemic. This report shares findings from these surveys.

Download / PowerPoint / Infographic for parents / Youth workshop facilitation guide / Media release



Understanding Tobacco Use and Vaping among BC Youth

This report takes an in-depth look at tobacco use among BC adolescents (aged 12–19)including trends over the past 15 years, the use of different smoking products, and risk and protective factors for regular smoking. It also considers vaping and how that differs from the use of cigarettes and other nicotine products.

Download / PowerPoint / Fraser, Interior, Northern, Vancouver Coastal, Vancouver Island / Smoking, vaping, and sports poster

Supports in the Spotlight

Supports in the Spotlight was produced the Youth Research Academy (YRA) using data from the 2013 and 2018 BC Adolescent Health Surveys (BC AHS) to identify protective factors that can support youth in and from government care to achieve positive health and well-being. The report includes quotes from youth with care experience who completed the 2018 BC AHS, reflections on the findings from YRA members, and suggestions for how best to support youth in and from care.

Download / PowerPoint / Poster

Connections and Companionship II

Connections and Companionship II is a sequel to a 2016 report which looked at the relationship between adolescents and their pets. It includes data from the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey and from a 2020 survey specifically about youth’s relationship with their pet.

Download / PowerPoint / Media Release

Prescribing pain: Misuse of prescription medication, heroin and other substances among youth in BC

This report was prepared by McCreary's Youth Research Academy and provides an overview of substance use among BC youth with a focus on the misuse of prescription medication and heroin. Reflections on the findings by YRA members are included throughout the report.

Download / Knowledge summary /Infographic poster


Blunt Talk II: A picture of cannabis use among BC youth

Blunt Talk II is a sequel to McCreary’s 2016 Blunt Talk report and includes data from the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey. The report considers which cannabis users might be at greatest risk of harms in order to foster an upstream approach to dealing with potentially harmful use. The report also provides youth reflections on the data.

Download / PowerPoint / Media Release / Key findings poster / Youth poster

Ta Saantii Deu/Neso: A Profile of Métis Youth Health in BC

Using data from the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey, the report looks at the current health picture of Métis youth, their changing needs, and at disparities between the health of Métis and non-Métis youth.

Download / Media Release / PowerPoint / Fact sheet: Métis youth vaping in BC


Beyond a Dreamcatcher: Improving services for Indigenous justice involved youth with substance use challenges - A youth-led study

This report shares promising practices and recommendations to reduce barriers to engaging with substance use services for Indigenous youth who are justice-involved or at risk of justice involvement. The study was conducted between 2017 and 2019 by members of McCreary’s Youth Research Academy. In addition to the youth researchers, over 300 Indigenous youth participated in the project.

Download/ Poster 1 / Poster 2

Balance and Connection in BC Next Steps Workshop Toolkit: A resource to share the results of the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey with young people

This toolkit provides a workshop template for facilitators to share the results of the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey with young people in British Columbia. It includes an introduction to the results, activities to learn about risk and protective factors, and discussion questions to explore youth health in your school or community. The accompanying PowerPoint contains a bank of trivia questions for the Trivia Time game.

Download toolkit / Download PowerPoint

Clearing the Air: A youth-led research project about vaping

The Vaping Research Slam was a fast-paced weekend project during which YRA members and other young people investigated vaping among BC youth. Over two days, youth discussed their views on vaping; generated ideas to support youth who vape and to share the potential risks of vaping with their peers; analyzed data from the BC Adolescent Health Survey, and presented their findings and key messages to stakeholders.

Download / Infographic poster

Youth Research Slam 2019: A youth-led research project about substance use

Over Spring Break 2019, 14 youth aged 15–24 took part in the third annual Research Slam. They investigated substance use and its effect on youth health, as well as how to support youth to make healthier choices when it comes to substance use. This report was created as part of a project to better understand youth substance use and substance-related harms in the context of the current opioid crisis.

Download / Infographic poster

Balance and Connection in BC: The health and well-being of our youth

This report shares provincial findings of the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey, which was completed by 38,015 Grade 7-12 students in schools across British Columbia.

Download / PowerPoint / By youth, for youth poster / Youth mental health poster / SDG Poster

2018 BC AHS Regional reports (Health Service Delivery Area):

For additional fact sheets, infographics, and posters using 2018 BC AHS data, click here.



Food and mood: A youth-led study into nutrition and mental health

Over Spring Break 2018, the Youth Research Academy hosted the second annual Research Slam. Participants analyzed data from the 2013 BC Adolescent Health Survey (BC AHS) relating to nutrition and mental health, and created their own survey to answer questions not addressed in the BC AHS. This report shares the results of that survey as well as recommendations to improve nutrition and mental health among young people.


Starting a conversation: An upstream approach to reducing potentially harmful substance use among BC youth

This report considers ways that potentially harmful substance use among BC youth can be addressed by taking an upstream approach that focuses on building internal and external protective factors, rather than specifically on preventing the early or excessive use of psychoactive substances. A summary of the report is available to download here.


Youth Research Slam: A model for engaging experiential youth in community-based research

In March 2017, the Youth Research Academy hosted a Research Slam, which trained other youth in community-based research skills over a two-week period. As part of the project, Research Slam participants created an online survey about how youth manage stress, which was distributed to 586 young people world wide over one weekend.This report highlights the results of that survey and details the Research Slam process.



Strategies to reduce risky alcohol use among underage girls: An evidence review

Risk and protective factors for alcohol use among female adolescents are often different from those for males, as are their motivations for drinking. Based on an extensive search of the academic and grey literature, this evidence review considers which strategies are the most promising for addressing underage girls’ problematic alcohol use, and identifies a number of policies and interventions which may be effective. The report also includes a review of alcohol related messaging aimed at reducing harmful alcohol use conducted by McCreary’s Youth Research Academy.



More than Grades

This report shares the perspectives of BC youth with government care experience with respect to the barriers and supports they experience in achieving educational success. The report is part of a larger project conducted by the BC Office of the Representative for Children and Youth.



Connections and Companionship: The health of BC youth with pets

Connections and Companionship is the first report examining the relationship between BC youth and their companion animals. This report describes some of the benefits of pet ownership, including a links to positive health and feelings of safety, but also identifies some of the associated barriers, such as accessing housing and health care.

Download / Media Release / Powerpoint / Poster / Tabloid size poster for professional printing

Ta Saantii: A profile of Métis youth health in BC

Ta Saantii is the first in-depth look at the health of Métis youth. The findings show that Métis youth are making a number of healthier choices compared to their peers five years ago, but that there are still disparities between male and female youth, urban and rural youth, and Métis and non-Métis youth.

Download / Media Release / Powerpoint / Homeless Métis Factsheet


School-based interventions to reduce health disparities among LGBTQ youth: Considering the evidence

A joint report from McCreary and SARAVYC (UBC) shows LGBTQ support programs in schools could reduce suicide attempts, binge drinking and other health risk behaviours among students.

Download / Media Release / Infographic


Blunt Talk: Harms associated with early and frequent marijuana use among BC youth

Blunt Talk provides a snapshot of marijuana use among BC youth and identifies where use is linked to negative health consequences. This report also creates a baseline description of young people's marijuana use prior to upcoming changes in legislation.

Download / Media Release / Powerpoint / Infographic

A Step Forward: Turning youth health research into community action

McCreary is committed to taking the results of the BC AHS back to young people through Next Steps workshops. A Step Forward describes youth's responses to the findings of the AHS, and showcases the projects youth created to address local health issues in eight communities across the province.


Raven's Children IV: Aboriginal Youth Health in BC

Raven's Children IV provides a comprehensive picture of the health of Aboriginal youth in BC using data from the 2013 BC AHS. The report was overseen by an advisory committee of experts in Aboriginal youth health, and reviewed by Elders, youth and other Aboriginal community members across the province.

Download / Media Release / Powerpoint

Untangling the web: online safety and sexting among BC youth

Untangling the web considers risk and protective factors for safer use of technology among BC youth.

Download / Powerpoint / Media Release

Youth-friendly resources: Workshop toolkit / Powerpoint

Posters for females youth: Key findings / Tips for online safety

In response to an online safety workshop that included findings from Untangling the Web, students from Argyle Secondary School's Digital Media Academy created multimedia projects to share what they learned with a youth audience.

Graphic Novel Series: Volume 1: Aki / Volume 2: Jessica / Volume 3: Chris / Volume 4: Matt

Other DMA Resources: Poster / Film

Unspoken Thoughts and Hidden Facts: A snapshot of BC youth's mental health

This report, Unspoken Thoughts and Hidden Facts, is the work of 28 young people who share a common interest in promoting positive mental health by increasing awareness and understanding of youth mental health.


Download / Media Release

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How Many Is Too Many for BC Youth? Alcohol use and associated harms

How Many Is Too Many for BC Youth? focuses on alcohol use among BC youth, and specifically what was found to constitute more harmful levels of drinking, as well as risks and protective factors.

Download / Media Release / Powerpoint / Infographic

AHS Do-It-Yourself Workshop Manual

A DIY guide to holding your own workshop and sharing the results of the 2013 BC Adolescent Health Survey with youth.

Download / Accompanying Powerpoint

Talking About Youth Health

McCreary asked youth for feedback on a range of data about youth health. We have compiled youth's feedback about the BC AHS into a report which provides context to the survey findings and will inform the development of the 2018 survey.


Our communities, our youth: The health of homeless and street-involved youth in BC

This report profiles the health of youth who are homeless, precariously housed, or involved in a street lifestyle, and describes not only the challenges in their lives, but also their continued engagement in school and community.

Download / Media Release

We All Have A Role: Building social capital among youth in care

In partnership with Vancouver Foundation, this report highlights the importance of social capital among youth in government care.

Download / Media Release / Powerpoint / Youth Poster

McCreary also published four topic-specific youth factsheets on each domain of social capital: Family / School / Community / Peers

Sexual Health of Youth in BC

Using data from the 2013 BC Adolescent Health Survey, McCreary's first full length report looking at the sexual health of youth.

Download / Media Release / Powerpoint / Youth Poster

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Listening to Young Women's Voices II

This report is based on interviews with 57 girls aged 13-19 at the Burnaby Youth Custody Centre, following the centralization of custody services in Burnaby.

Download / Media Release

From Hastings Street to Haida Gwaii: Provincial results of the 2013 BC Adolescent Health Survey

The provincial findings of the 2013 BC AHS, McCreary's fifth survey of Grade 7-12 students in schools across British Columbia.

Download / Media Release / Youth Poster / Powerpoint

McCreary published 16 regional reports, one for each of the province's Health Service Delivery Areas.

Breaking Through the Barriers

Fifty young people with FASD, as well as 55 caregivers and service providers, were interviewed for their perspectives on risks associated with FASD, service barriers, and effective approaches and supports that can reduce the risk of substance use and facilitate youth's healthy transition to adulthood.


Negotiating Barriers to Employment

The study spoke with 150 young people about the employment barriers they face, as well as the supports that have been successful in helping them find and maintain employment. McCreary produced the report for the BC Centre for Employment Excellence.

Download (report summary) / Full download (through the CfEEBC)

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Supporting Youth in Our Communities

This manual was created for use in Yukon by adults who want to become better allies to the youth in their community.


Take Me By The Hand

This report further explores the responses of youth participants in focus groups for the Still Waiting report released by the Representative for Children and Youth.


Becoming Whole

This report profiles the experiences of young people who have struggled with substance use and mental health challenges, and shares their suggestions for creating and supporting youth engaged services.


Voices From the Inside II

This report captures youth's responses to Time Out III and their ideas for improving the lives of BC youth in conflict with the law.


Time Out III

This report looks at the health and experiences of 114 young people aged 12-19 who were in custody between August 2012 and January 2013. This is McCreary's third survey of youth in custody.

Download / Media Release

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Métis youth health report

McCreary’s first ever Métis youth health report.


Raven's Children III: Aboriginal Youth Health in BC

McCreary's review of the health of Aboriginal youth in BC using data from the 2008 BC AHS. The report was overseen by an advisory committee of experts in Aboriginal youth health, and includes data from over 3,000 Aboriginal youth as well as input from more than 100 Aboriginal youth and adults across the province who reviewed the findings.

Download / Media Release

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Fostering Potential: The lives of BC youth with government care experience

McCreary's profile of the experiences of BC youth who have been involved in the government care system and details many protective factors that promote their health and well-being.

Download / Media Release

Making the Right Connections: Promoting positive mental health among BC youth

This report provides an overview of the mental health of BC youth, considers youth who are at risk for mental health challenges, looks at the effects these mental health challenges may have on other aspects of health, and considers what promotes positive mental health in even the most vulnerable populations of young people.

Download / Media Release / Youth Factsheets / Literature review on community programs

Moving in the Right Direction: Physical activity among BC youth

This report highlights the many benefits of physical activity for young people but also identifies barriers to participation as well as risk and protective factors.

Download / Media Release / Youth Factsheet

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What a difference a year can make: Early alcohol and marijuana use among 16 to 18 year old BC students

This report uses data provided by the 10,000 16 to 18 year olds who completed the 2008 BC AHS, showing that youth are waiting longer than their peers a decade ago to try these substances. It also examines the different health behaviours and outcomes between those who use alcohol or marijuana at 12 and younger and those who wait longer to try these substances.

Download / Media Release

Drug Use Among 16 to 18 year old BC students

A factsheet looking at how the use of alcohol and marijuana is widespread among 16-18 year olds, but that the use of other substances is much less common. Those youth who do use these substances are often coping with negative experiences in their lives and need the support of family, schools, peers and their communities.


Adolescent Substance use and related harms in British Columbia

This 8 page bulletin using data from the 2008 Adolescent Health Survey shows that the rates of students using alcohol, marijuana or tobacco have declined over the past decade. The report is a joint publication of McCreary Centre Society and the Centre of Addictions Research of BC.


Measuring Our Health

The first of two reports as part of the larger 'Growing up in BC' project of the Representative for Children and Youth and Provincial Health Officer,'Measuring Our Health' records BC youth's feedback on the initial indicators proposed for measuring child and youth health and their suggestions for additional indicators.

Download / Film

Treat Us Like We Matter

The second report, 'Treat us like we matter', offers youth's feedback on the data collected to measure child and youth health and their ideas to improve youth health in the province.

Download / Film

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A Seat at the Table

This report focuses on youth engagement in civic and community decision-making. It includes a literature review and offers different examples of involving young people in decision-making processes in Vancouver, from the perspectives of youth, service providers and funders.


A Picture of Health: Highlights from the 2008 BC Adolescent Health Survey

The results of the fourth Adolescent Health Survey conducted in 1,760 classrooms across 50 of BC's 59 school districts. The 2008 AHS is the largest survey of its kind in Canada and provides the most comprehensive picture of the physical and emotional health of BC youth, including risk and protective factors.

Download / Media Release

McCreary published 14 regional reports, for most of the province's Health Service Delivery Areas.

Moving Upstream: Aboriginal Marginalized and Street-Involved Youth in BC

This report analyzes the experiences in nine B.C. communities of more than 400 homeless, inadequately housed, street-involved and marginalized Aboriginal youth ages 12 to 18. The report also includes the response to these findings from Aboriginal community members, and calls for increased services.


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Improving the Odds: Next Steps Workshops with Marginalized and Street Involved Youth

Summarizing workshops McCreary Centre Society facilitated with street-involved and marginalized youth across the province. The workshops provided youth with opportunities to discuss the results of the report Against the Odds: A profile of marginalized youth in BC (2007), and to make recommendations for change.


Making the Grade

A review of alternative education programs in BC, involving three hundred thirty-nine youth attending 34 alternative education programs for "at- risk" and "high risk" youth across the province, and 62 adult stakeholders.


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For reports prior to 2008, please consult the McCreary archive.

To order reports, please complete the appropriate form and send to:
McCreary Centre Society
3552 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC, V5K 2A7