Posted on 23rd February 2023
Youth campaign offers self-care and peer support to address alcohol and drug issues
A new campaign encouraging young people to seek out and support one another is in full swing across Macarthur and Wingecarribee.
Youth drug and alcohol prevention and health promotion charity, Youth Solutions, joined forces with Campbelltown Catholic Club to launch the It Starts With Us campaign last month. At its heart, the campaign encourages young people to reach out and support their mates around issues of alcohol and other drugs and related wellbeing and mental health issues.
Youth Solutions Chief Executive Officer Geraldine Dean said the campaign was based on peer-influence research that highlighted the importance of peer support among young people.
“Research shows that support from peers can help people feel accepted, find new coping strategies, increase knowledge, improve social skills, improve self-efficacy, manage challenges better and improve their quality of life,” Mrs Dean said. “Everything we do at Youth Solutions acknowledges and incorporates the importance of peer influence for positive behaviours and coping skills. This new campaign, It Starts With Us, in partnership with Campbelltown Catholic Club and with input from our own youth volunteers, is bringing that concept to a new level.”
“It is about all of us taking small, practical steps to take care of ourselves and to check in and support those around us who might be experiencing drug and alcohol concerns or related mental health and wellbeing challenges. The campaign aims to encourage young people to be there for one another and to assist those in their lives to access further professional support if they need it.”
Perhaps most importantly, the campaign is encouraging young people, and all of us, to START. Whether it be starting with a self-check-in or self-care, starting a conversation with a friend you are worried about or starting a connection to help someone seek out further support for drugs, alcohol and related challenges. The top tips:
Youth Solutions Community Relations & Communications Coordinator, Amanda Dillon, who is heading up the campaign, said that while It Starts With Us was aimed at minimising harm to our young people, we all have a responsibility to step up and start the conversation about alcohol and other drugs.
“We all have the power to take small steps to challenge stigma and normalise help-seeking around alcohol, drugs and mental health with friends, family and within our workplaces and learning environments.”
Some practical strategies we all can adopt include:
Campbelltown Catholic Club Chief Executive Officer Michael Lavorato said the club was proud to support Youth Solutions and the It Starts With Us campaign. “The Club and our staff are committed to supporting and keeping our patrons and our community safe, especially our young people. So, working with Youth Solutions on this important campaign is something we were passionate about doing – looking after ourselves and supporting others should be a priority for us all,” Mr Lavorato said.
For more information about the It Starts With Us campaign activities and tips for supporting others visit the web page or connect on social media:
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