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Peer support; the key to wellbeing

Posted on 17th January 2023

Youth Solutions & Campbelltown Catholic Club team up to launch Health Pro+ project & It Starts With Us campaign

We all have the power to effect change. And those individual efforts can combine to create a mighty force to make a difference in a community.

Using this premise, Youth Solutions has partnered with long-term supporter, Campbelltown Catholic Club, to launch a fresh project, Health Pro+ and supporting campaign, It Starts With Us. The initiatives add to Youth Solutions’ award-winning programs in the youth drug and alcohol prevention and health promotion fields, delivered throughout the Macarthur and Wingecarribee regions.

The Health Pro+ project is a drug and alcohol education workshop series, aimed at providing education and support to the next generation of health and community service professionals, particularly those engaged in tertiary education in medical, health, youth and community services fields. The project aims to utilise education, skill-building and support to help change the landscape for healthcare for future generations of young people to receive better care and support around drugs, alcohol and related issues.

Running alongside the project is the It Starts With Us campaign; which more broadly aims to lay a framework for supporting others, especially emphasising the importance of youth peer-to-peer support around alcohol and other drug issues, mental health and wellbeing.

It Starts With Us kicks off this week, urging us all – and especially our young people – to challenge stigma and normalise asking for help from friends, family and in our workplaces and learning environments. The campaign highlights the importance of self-care as being integral to being able to support others and encourages us to familiarise ourselves with practical ways to help those around us and connect them with support.

Youth Solutions Chief Executive Officer Geraldine Dean thanked Campbelltown Catholic Club for supporting Youth Solutions to make a positive difference in the lives of young people by coming on board with these significant projects.

“Youth Solutions and Campbelltown Catholic Club are both united in supporting young people in our community. We both want to do our part to shape a positive future for our young people,” Mrs Dean said. “We’d like to sincerely thank the Board and team at Campbelltown Catholic Club for their support of Youth Solutions and these important initiatives.”

“Through Health Pro+, we are working with the next generation of youth workers, community workers, health and medical professionals. We are boosting their knowledge of drugs and alcohol and the complexities of issues around these. We’re connecting them to supports that can help them work through this. Beyond developing personal knowledge, skills and coping strategies, Health Pro+ also aims to build confidence in supporting people who are experiencing drug, alcohol and related issues – something that has the potential to have a positive impact on countless others.”

It Starts With Us lead, Amanda Dillon, said she excited to be working on the new campaign “At Youth Solutions, we believe that one of a community’s greatest resources, is its young people,” Mrs Dillon said. “Through education, support and connection we can work with our young people to help improve their wellbeing, their decisions, their health and ultimately their futures.”

“It Starts With Us is particularly putting the spotlight on normalising help-seeking and self-care when times are challenging. Those little things add up to improved outcomes for our young people around the usage of alcohol and other drugs.”

Campbelltown Catholic Club Chief Executive Officer Michael Lavorato said the new projects reflected the Club’s value of caring for community and improving the lives of community members.

“Like Youth Solutions, we are very much invested in our young people and it is our priority to keep them safe from harm,” Mr Lavorato said.

“Supporting this innovative and important project and campaign is another way for us to show our commitment to local young people. We’re really proud to be partnering with Youth Solutions to make a positive impact on our community and young people.”

Youth Solutions Youth Advisory Group volunteer Amy-Rose has thrown her support behind the campaign, suggesting we all get started right away by doing that one simple thing we know how to do: “Ask a friend if they are okay. Ask them if they’d like to hang out together – this can improve moods for both parties and create a flow for conversation.”

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:

To enquire about Health Pro+ and Youth Solutions’ other projects and services, visit the Health Pro+ web page, call the team on 02 4628 2319 or email

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