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New Project Announcement! YO funded to evaluate trauma-informed yoga with justice involved youth

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Hands in a jail cell

Yoga Outreach has received funding from the Department of Justice Canada for a two year pilot project incorporating trauma-informed yoga in to drug treatment for justice invloved youth!

Our project will develop, pilot, and evaluate the efficacy of trauma-informed yoga (TIY) programming, in conjunction with other drug treatment programs for justice involved youth, in enhancing health outcomes, ability to self-regulate, and impulse control/relapse in the short term. Our project will also deliver and evaluate training to support staff at the partner agencies in using yoga based tools in their work as well as for their own self-care. We anticipate the project will reveal positive outcomes for both youth and their support workers in measures of anxiety/stress levels, overall well-being, ability to self-regulate both emotionally and physically, reduction of physical pain, enhanced sleep and somatic experience. In addition to specific outcomes for youth as listed we also expect an increase in knowledge available to the justice, yoga, and public health sectors about trauma-informed yoga as a health promoting intervention for justice-involved youth in drug treatment programs. Additionally we expect to see increased knowledge for the above stakeholders about how these outcomes may be experienced differently according to age, gender, and ethnic/racial background. Finally we also expect to increase knowledge about the process of developing and implementing such programs in terms of their accessibility, ability to build capacity in their community, and their sustainability. This will enhance program delivery for youth, both those in the justice system and those deemed 'at-risk', by establishing the viability and success of implementing trauma-informed yoga programs in conjunction with existing drug treatment programs for youth.

 

Project Objectives

First Objective

Explore the effectiveness of trauma-informed yoga classes for justice-involved youth in drug treatment. Effectiveness will be measured and analyzed through the collection of qualitative and quantitative data about their experience of the yoga class environment, the yoga instruction, awareness of body sensations including any changes to physical discomfort or pain, impacts on physical and emotional arousal, clarity/calmness of thinking, intrusive thoughts and overall feeling of wellness.

Second Objective

Explore the effectiveness of Using Yoga in Your Work™ training on the self-care and work practices of staff working in drug treatment programs for justice-involved youth. Effectiveness will be measured and analyzed through the collection of qualitative and quantitative data about their experience of the training and any changes to their perceptions and assessment of their physical, emotional and mental well-being, including any changes to physical discomfort or pain, impacts on physical and emotional arousal, clarity/calmness of thinking, intrusive thoughts, satisfaction, and work capacity.

Third Objective

Use findings and pilot experience to develop recommendations and approaches to support the implementation of trauma-informed yoga programs in drug treatment for justice-involved youth to expand programming to a larger scale, ie. nationwide.

We are very excited to be working with facility partners throughout the province of BC on this pilot. Stay tuned for an announcement on who those partner agencies are!

 

About the Author

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Burnaby Youth Custody Centre
For as little as $15 a month, less than a drop in yoga class, you can ensure that youth and adults in mental health facilities, prison or youth custody, alcohol and drug treatment centers, women and children who have experienced violence, or adults suffering from early onset dementia, have access to the powerful and healing practices of yoga and meditation, providing a method to reclaim their minds and bodies, to self regulate, and to connect with people in their community.