AWARE started in Kingston, Ontario in 1986, and we have been busy with local, regional, provincial, and national projects ever since. Our work is always based on what women say they need, so please contact us if you have ideas!
Here is just some of what we’ve worked on in the past:
Publications and Projects:
1987/88-Women and Drinking
Even though this was a small project funded by a local funder, Women and Drinking set the standard for friendly, factual, easy-to-read materials that AWARE has produced since. It was the first publication created by AWARE, and also the first information pamphlet in Canada to speak directly to women.
1988/1990-No Repeats /Attention
This was AWARE’s first major publication with funding from Health Canada. No Repeats (known in French as Attention) focused on women who struggle with psychoactive prescription medication, or whose lives are affected by psychoactive prescription medications. Like all of AWARE's publications, this book was written by women for women and focused on providing a wealth of information intended to support women as they went through the process of reducing or eliminating their use of these medications.
1989-My Mom, Her Pills, & Me
This booklet was intended to support kids whose mothers drink and take pills. Its goal was to help young people understand why their mothers might take psychotropic drugs and drink alcohol. It also had tips on what moms and kids could do to help themselves and each other.
1990/1992-Drug Wise/Guide des ainées
This resource manual was geared to women aged 55 and older. Printed in large type, on full size pages with spiral binding, the book was easy to read, handle, and photocopy. It was available in 2 versions. The Older Women version was intended for older women living on their own. The Caregiver version was intended for older women who are in-home caregivers. It contained information about support services, and was also available in French.
1990-Drug Abuse & Domestic Assault Needs Assessment
This lead up to domestic violence workshop that helped service provides start to make the links between substance use and domestic violence.
1990/1991-Women & Smoking
This was the first publication by AWARE that focused on the issues related to women’s use of tobacco. This book was written for women to help them understand more about their smoking habits. Women & Smoking has been updated and revised twice and is still in print. Order Now!
1990/1991- Making the Links
This intention of this booklet was to “make the links” for young women about sexual violence, drugs and alcohol. It shows the connection between sexual violence and drug problems and gives ideas on how to recover from violence without using drugs or alcohol.
1993-Pregnancy Needs Assessment
This project worked with regional addiction service providers and allied professionals regarding the issue of pregnant and parenting women who use substances. A regional needs assessment and four year strategic plan was developed and staff training needs were identified.
1993-Domestic Violence Workshop
This was a regional workshop for service providers to make the links. (For more details, see Drug Abuse and Domestic Assault needs assessment, above)
These were developed for Francophone women’s shelters in Ontario and focused on women’s substance use and its connection with domestic violence, both from the perpetrator’s point of view and the point of view of women who use substances to cope with violence in their lives.
1993-SmokeScreen Needs Assessment
This was a precurser to FactPack.
1994/95-Give & Take Pregnancy Project
This booklet provides pregnant women with information about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. It contains information about support services. Give & Take is available in both French and English in an easy-to-read format. Give & Take has been revised and reprinted and is still in print. Order Now!
This booklet was about women, prescription drugs and alcohol and how substance use is connected to a range of issues in women’s lives (such as sexual health, depression, and menopause/ageing). This was AWARE’s first national project and included input from women and service providers across Canada.
1994-Sharing Our Strengths
This project involved investigating alternative formats to traditional 12-step models for self-help groups. This was undertaken in partnership with Women For Sobriety (WFS), and the Pictou County Women’s Centre (PCWC) in Glasgow, NS. A community workshop was planned and held.
1995/97-SmokeScreen Resource Project
This was also a precursor to Fact Pack
This was a regional newsletter for service providers regarding domestic violence and substance abuse to try to keep people thinking about the connections.
1996-Women and Alcohol
This 12 page booklet is a joint production of AWARE and the Addiction Research Foundation (now called the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). It updates an earlier AWARE publication called Women and Drinking, an information guide for women about the safe use of alcohol. Also available in French. Contains information about support services. Women and alcohol has been revised, reprinted several times, and is still in print.
This project involved working with low income single moms to allow their voices to be heard regarding their needs and issues (qualitative needs assessment).
This booklet discusses sexual violence, pregnancy, self image, sexual health, and smoking. The connection between these issues and the use of alcohol and other drugs by young women is demonstrated. FactPack contains information about support services and is still in print.
1998/2001-PRISM (Public Recognition: Invest in Single Moms)
PRISM was a discount card designed for single parent families, primarily moms (similar to seniors and student discount cards). It enabled single parents to access a wide range of discounted goods and services from participating businesses.
1997/2000-Single Mothers Support Network
This project was about helping to link low-income single mothers in the Eastern Ontario through workshops, a newsletter, and eventually through electronic media.
2000/2001-Finding Your Way Video Project
This video helped single mothers navigate the Ontario Works system. It gave moms information on how to feel comfortable dealing with OW, and answered common questions about OW.
1999/2001-Eastern Region Organizing for Ontario Women’s Health Network
This included providing regional workshops and developing a directory of women’s health services in Eastern Ontario.
2000/2001-Breath of Fresh Air/Website
BOFA was a fundraising campaign to raise money to provide low-income, single mothers who want to quit smoking with smoking cessation aids, such as the patch, nicotine gum or zyban, along with resource information, telephone support and follow up. This project also provided us with the funding for our first website.
2000/2002-Food Mentoring Project
This food security project linked low-income single mothers with women who have specific skills, such as preserving, canning, freezing, dehydrating - anything that helps stretch a meager food budget to help cover the food needs of a hungry family. A community development component of the project, including a myth busting campaign and the development of a Food Policy Council, was also developed.
2001to 2005-STARSS (Ontario Pilot)
The goal of STARSS is to enable moms to protect their children as much as possible from secondhand smoke in the home without a focus on smoking cessation, using the small steps approach to supporting women, especially low-income mothers. We also rediscovered that the harm reduction approach encourages both cessation and quit attempts by providing a less threatening message regarding smoking. Click here to find out more about STARSS resources!
2001-The SMART Guide
This project is a collaboration between Breaking the Cycle and AWARE. The SMART Guide is a training guide that provides solid, how-to information about motivational counselling strategies, stages of change approaches, and other current specialized skills in addictions as they apply to pregnant and parenting women who use alcohol. The SMART Guide has been revised, reprinted several times, and is still in print. Order Now!
2001/2002-Overcoming Roadblocks on the Information Highway - Kingston Site
This project addresses barriers that prevent low-income single mothers from accessing the Internet and develops strategies to reduce these roadblocks. One strategy identified by single mothers is the development of workshops for single mothers which offer hands-on internet instruction in a non-threatening supportive environment. An urban and a rural component were also developed.
2002/2004-Overcoming Roadblocks on the Information Highway - Rural Sites
(Please see above)
2003/2005-Back to School Project
This was a framework for taking action on the impact of educational reforms on low-income single mothers was developed by AWARE and the Single Mothers Support Network (SMSN).
2003/2005-Start Thinking About Reducing Secondhand Smoke (STARSS)
This refers to companion funding to develop more resources (such as posters, PSAs, and a training video) for STARSS. Click here to find out more about STARSS resources!
2005/2006-PREGNETS II Project Co-coordinator
This project was to improve the health of women and children by helping pregnant and postpartum women quit smoking, by increasing their capacity to quit and stay quit using a woman centred model of care. For more details, see the Pregnets website: http://www.pregnets.org/
2003/2007-Motherwise Program Coordinator
This involved coordination of an outreach program that provides counseling, support and education to women who have substance use concerns and who are pregnant/ parenting children aged 0 to 6. Women do not need to have custody of their children to access this service. This service is now sponsored by Options For Change, a program of Frontenac Community Mental Health Services.
2006/2007-Phase 1 of the National Rollout of STARSS
This phase involved taking STARSS from a provincial to a national project, to enable moms all across Canada to protect their children as much as possible from secondhand smoke. Click here to find out more about STARSS resources!
2006/2007-PREGNETS III project co-coordinator
See Pregnets website: http://www.pregnets.org/
2006/2007-SMART Guide Training, FASD Maternal Mentors
This was a national training to support on-reserve mentors who work with pregnant women who use substances, especially alcohol.
2006/2007-The Breaking the Cycle Compendium – Developmental Editor
An edited collection of publications, papers and resources that describe BTC’s experience in developing and evaluating the delivery of an integrated maternal-child response to substance use, pregnancy, mothering, child development and FASD issues. For more details, see the Mothercraft website: http://www.mothercraft.ca/
2009/2010-Update and French Translations of the SMART Guide and Give &Take
These popular training guides and information packets have been updated and translated so that they can be accessible to a wider variety of people. They still include the same information in an easy-to-read format, but all the facts have been updated to remain relevant. Both The SMART Guide and Give & Take are available for purchase on the AWARE website. Order Now!
2009/2011-Phase 2 of the National Rollout of STARSS
Phase 2 of the National Rollout of STARSS was funded by the CAPC/CPNP National Projects Fund of the Public Health Agency of Canada. It began in 2009, and has generated excitement and support from service providers and moms across Canada. We welcome CAPC and CPNP projects from NWT, BC, Saskatchewan, PEI, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland/Labrador to our national STARSS family! Click here to find out more about STARSS resources!
2008/2011- The FIRST Approach (FASD-Informed Reduced Smoking Techniques)
AWARE, in partnership with Mothercraft (Breaking the Cycle) and a Provincial Advisory Committee, developed a training guide focused on the smoking reduction / cessation needs of women who may be FASD affected. The training guide targets service providers across Ontario and is based on easy-to-read principles. It builds upon AWARE’s expertise in smoking reduction / cessation strategies for marginalized women and upon BTC’s expertise in specialized skills in relationship building with women / mothers who may be FASD affected. The focus of the Guide is to provide theoretical frameworks for effective interventions and to suggest promising practices for service delivery. Click here to find out more about FIRST Approach resources!