Planet Youth was developed from the Icelandic Prevention Model – a theory-based approach with demonstrated effectiveness in reducing substance use in Iceland for over 20 years. The Planet Youth Guidance Program is designed to strengthen protective factors, mitigate risk factors, and build healthy community environments for positive youth development by focusing on key domains in the local school-community: Family, peer group, leisure (out-of-school) time, and school.
The Planet Youth Guidance Program is a population-wide primary prevention process designed to have a long-term impact in communities on reducing youth substance use through creating a healthy built environment. Planet Youth treats society as “the patient“ and believes that building a community environment that delays the onset of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs for as long as possible is an effective approach to reducing the long-term health problems related to youth substance use.
The Planet Youth data tool supports positive youth development through an biennial survey. Surveying is completed by grade and the Planet Youth survey is most commonly surveyed among ages 15 and 16 years.
Communities receive the data back within 8 weeks so they know what is going on with their youth right now and can respond quickly. Planet Youth is now supporting hundreds of communities with this approach.
Planet Youth builds community-specific and institution-level capacity for leadership and problem-solving. Planet Youth trusts communities to learn, grow, and develop solutions that will work locally. This work relies on community leadership and expertise and is not a “one size fits all” approach.