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Bainbridge Youth Services tackles stigma on screen through youth-led video series


Substance use disorder (SUD) remains one of the most stigmatized health conditions worldwide, and youth are no exception to the detrimental impacts. Addressing SUD stigma requires a collaborative approach, which is why OCH sought out partnerships with youth-serving organizations to elevate and empower youth perspectives on the topic. One of those partners who is doing great work to tackle SUD stigma through youth engagement is Bainbridge Youth Services (BYS).

BYS is uniquely positioned to successfully reach youth in Kitsap County as they are located directly on campus at Bainbridge High School and share a parking lot with Bainbridge Island Aquatic Center. They offer free counseling services to youth ages 13-21 (Bainbridge Island residents and beyond) as well as on-site tutoring services. The space is welcoming and dignified allowing them to fully live into their mission statement: “to promote youth mental health and wellness in our community.”


BYS used resources from OCH’s youth engagement funding opportunity to produce and promote a series of videos. Their Youth Board, a group of seven high schoolers, created videos for their peers tackling topics relating to SUD stigma. The Youth Board was involved in each step of the video production process, from planning to filming, allowing for them to learn and grow professionally while also raising awareness about SUD stigma.


Youth-led projects are an important step in becoming a recovery friendly Olympic region. According to the 2021 Department of Health’s Healthy Youth Survey, about half of 10th grade students (in the Olympic region) reported having a trusted adult in their life. By tackling SUD stigma, BYS helps foster a community of empowerment and support. Check out OCH’s data tool, Connecting to Data to learn more about regional metrics.

BYS shared, “The youth would say they have learned a lot about resources in the community, working with film crew, and public speaking. Skills they learned; advocating of self and others, organizational skills, working as a team with a project, and communication.”

OCH is inspired by the creativity of BYS’s video project and the incredible leadership that their Youth Board demonstrated in the creation process. Do you want to join BYS in this important work? Simply share the videos within your communities and networks to help spread the word.

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