Social and Emotional Learning for prevention of drug use, violence and mental health: Needs and lessons learned in the context of COVID19 and its aftermath
Organized by the Lions Club International Foundation, and the UNODC Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section
Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence is an evidence based Social and Emotional Learning tool that is implemented through trained teachers in schools that has been very effective in preventing substance use, promoting positive mental health as well as reducing violence and promoting positive school environments linked to better educational attainment and attachment. Currently entering its seventh year, the partnership between UNODC and the Lions Clubs International Foundation has allowed for the expansion of the Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence (LQSFA) program into dozens of schools in South East Europe, Latin America, and West Africa, benefiting thousands of middle-school students. The COVID-19 pandemic carried a direct effect on the stress and mental health linked to the virus itself, this was further compounded by the social preventive policies surrounding the pandemic (including school closure and distance education, physical distancing measures, working from home and more). With the socio-economic impact, among other outcomes, further compounding the vulnerabilities anticipated post COVID-19, the aftermath of this pandemic further stresses the eminence of articulation such Social and Emotional Skills amongst youth to prevent a large spectrum of negative social and health outcomes. This side event will discuss lessons learned during the pandemic on the potential of application of such programmes despite impediments as well as the potential and needs linked to such interventions.