Helping Youth Succeed-What Can VT Learn from Iceland’s Approach to Prevention?

CHL recently produced a webinar entitled "Helping Youth Succeed", in partnership with Prevention Works, VT Afterschool, and New Directions.

Center for Health and Learning recently produced a webinar entitled “Helping Youth Succeed”, in partnership with Prevention Works VT, VT Afterschool, and New Directions Prevention Coalition.

The Helping Youth Succeed webinar takes a look at the ‘Iceland Model’ and how we can use their data to construct a successful model that will work for Vermont.

This informative presentation will give insight into:

• The Iceland prevention model and consider what is different in the Iceland approach
• Key takeaways for community substance misuse prevention coalitions
• Identify some next steps that coalitions can take in their communities

In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking and drug use have been radically reduced in the past 20 years. Today, youth all across that nation are involved in sports, arts, music, and other activities every day, family relationships are stronger, and positive youth engagement is on the rise. This was not always the case. From 1989-1999 youth substance use in Iceland was trending up with the highest rates in Europe, even while many prevention activities were going on. Informed by data, researchers, policy makers and program specialists came together to address the problem.

Recognizing that substance use follows cohorts they decided to work towards postponing the moment youth had the first drink or smoke, focusing attention on how to influence behavior, rather than their attitudes. Iceland recognized that risk factors start very early, society was a production site for these problems and that individual interventions focused on personal responsibility were not working. They embraced a sociological cross-sector approach which fully engaged parents to “mobilize society as a whole” and activate a social environment through primary prevention.

A delegation from Vermont traveled to Iceland in March to learn about the model and will share what they learned.

Watch the Webinar Video

View the Slides from the presentation.


  • Holly Morehouse, Executive Director, VT Afterschool
  • JoEllen Tarallo, Executive Director, Center for Health and Learning
  • Ginny Burley, Prevention Specialist, New Directions Prevention Coalition

Webinar is great for… 

  • Substance Misuse Prevention Coalitions
  • Community Partners
  • Parents

Sponsored by Prevention Works VT!