As part of the Penrith Youth Interagency (PYI), a working group was established called Risky Business, which is run by local service providers within Penrith with a focus on bringing awareness to Young People on areas such as Mental Health, Drug & Alcohol, Sexual Health and Healthy Relationships.
The Risky Business Working Group, in partnership with Cranebrook High School, ran the Cranebrook Trivia Challenge on Wednesday 28th October at Cranebrook High School. There were 6 categories – Mental Health, D&A, Sexual Health, Healthy Relationships, Communication and Adolescent Development with bonus questions added in.
Seventy five young people, parents, teachers and service providers attended the evening and all had a great time. Many said they learnt a lot about what young people experience and where to find assistance. Our main prize, the iPad Mini, was won by Joshua Buller, Year 8 from Cranebrook High School, best Trivia table won Hoyts Movie Vouchers with runner’s up winning iTune cards. The evening went so well that we were asked to run it again next year!
Some of the information talked and quizzed about:
Mental Health is thought to be the underlying factor in 90% of Youth suicide in Australia alone. Depression is one of the main risks of suicide and self harm. The stigma and lack of awareness surrounding mental health in Young People is also a contributing factor to early intervention and prevention. Providing awareness is key to getting Young people support in the early stages.
Drug & Alcohol has seen a recent increase in Young People especially Ice (Crystal Methamphetamine). Ice is seen to be the popular street drug. 7% of Young People in Australia aged 14yrs & over have used meth/amphetamines (which also includes Ice) one or more times in their lives.
Chlamydia is actually the most commonly reported STI in young people in Australia. It’s caused by bacteria called chlamydia trachomatis and it can be passed on through sexual fluids during oral, vaginal and anal sex. Encouraging sexually active Young People to get regular check up’s is very important.
From 15-19 years, romantic relationships can become central to social life. Friendships might become deeper and more stable. When a parent encourages conversations about feelings, friendships and family relationships, it can help the Young Person feel confident to talk about teenage relationships in general.
Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behaviour. It’s therefore essential that we promote healthy relationship behaviours within Young People so they can learn to identify positive behaviours and know when to walk away from an unhealthy relationship.
If you know of any Young People needing help or assistance please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Kids Helpline on 1800-55-1800.