In the long term, health promotion work has the greatest potential to reduce harm from substance use and gambling, in that services are offered to community members before problems develop. In other words, rather than treating individuals for specific problems, health promotion attempts to prevent problems associated with substance use and gambling from developing in the first place.

Amethyst follows Health Canada’s Best Practices Guidelines, which recommend early identification, intervention, and outreach to help enhance social functioning as well as to reduce substance use and problem gambling. We adhere to these practices in our Health Promotion Program by offering services in the community, thereby removing as many barriers as possible so that women can access support.


We support a variety of women, including many whom have not yet developed an addiction and are from diverse cultural, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds. These women also represent a diversity of sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, and abilities. Health Promotion Programs work with women who are living with multiple, complex life issues and identify the need to further develop healthy coping strategies.

Health promotion or prevention and treatment are equally critical components of the continuum of care and actually work to reinforce one another. A strong case can be made for the need for health promotion or prevention programming based on financial efficiency, program utility and its ability to reach people who may not access treatment services. This population health approach is grounded in the recognition that the earlier action is taken in the causal stream, the greater potential for success there is.