Nova Scotia teens will be among the first in the country to use a new, interactive version of a program that takes them on a life-like journey designed to reduce alcohol-related injuries. The Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y.) educates students about the health-related consequences of injury. Created in 1986 by emergency department nurse Joanne Banfield from Toronto’s Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Science Centre, the program is now up and running in more than 70 sites across Canada, the United States and Australia. Through the P.A.R.T.Y. program, students follow the path of a trauma patient through the health-care system, seeing firsthand the impact of an injury. Presentations are made by health-care workers and police, and visits are made to various parts of affiliated hospitals. The new, updated version of P.A.R.T.Y. uses a DVD, interactive exercises and two trained facilitators to deliver the injury prevention message. “The conventional form of P.A.R.T.Y. has been an outstanding resource for those cities and towns that have the people and facilities to support the initiative, but many areas needed some assistance, and this new version of P.A.R.T.Y. is the answer,” Health Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald said today, Nov. 8. “The new version is easier to stage, is available in French and English, and will allow many more teenagers to participate in a worthwhile injury prevention experience.” The new version of P.A.R.T.Y. will be piloted across Atlantic Canada this school year. The DVD portion of P.A.R.T.Y. provides teenagers with a realistic and sometimes explicit journey from the scene of a mock car crash, through the emergency department and intensive care unit, and into rehabilitation. The DVD ends with a series of testimonials from injury survivors and people affected by injury. The crew from CBC TV’s Street Cents produced the DVD last spring. The interactive exercises have been designed to get teenagers thinking and talking about injury, and was developed by faculty and students from the Dalhousie University School of Health and Human Performance. Dalhousie will also be conducting an evaluation of P.A.R.T.Y. The facilitators include paramedics, nurses, doctors, medical students, health promotion students, nursing students, RCMP and municipal police, firefighters, and others with an interest in injury prevention. “I’m very pleased that the resource developed almost 20 years ago at Sunnybrook and Women’s College continues to evolve and adapt to benefit our youth,” said Ms. Banfield. “Injury is the leading cause of death and disability for teenagers in Canada, and this new way of delivering P.A.R.T.Y. will bring a worthwhile and effective initiative to thousands more young people.” The Nova Scotia Department of Education has endorsed P.A.R.T.Y. as a resource for its high school career and life management curriculum. Major support and funding for P.A.R.T.Y. has come from Nova Scotia Health Promotion, the CBC, Emergency Health Services, the Be Smart Be Safe campaign from the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Nova Scotia’s Road Safety Advisory Committee, the Nova Scotia Office of Acadian Affairs, the Department of Education, the governments of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island, Emergency Medical Care, Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, the RCMP and Dalhousie University and Canadian Heritage.