By Matt Porter, Director of Student Wellbeing
Year 11 Prevention of Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y) program 2019 and beyond
Thank you to those students and parents who emailed in their feedback regarding this excursion. The support for the continuation of this program in 2019 and beyond was overwhelmingly positive.
The issue with the current course seems to be that there is too much demand for the staff and facilities at Royal North Shore Hospital to keep up without detracting from their core business of saving lives. Unfortunately for us, the short term solution is to limit access to the P.A.R.T.Y program to those schools located in RNSH’s geographic area.
There is some good news: I have been put in contact with the St George Clinical Skills Centre in Kogarah who now cover schools in the Waverley Council area. I am currently liaising with them to establish an ongoing partnership.
Thanks again for your positive feedback – here’s a little of what parents and students had to say about the program:
I personally found the excursion very confronting but I also learned a lot about the seriousness of car crashes and attempted suicides. After learning about what it’s like being a quadriplegic and a paraplegic and how much they have to suffer for the rest of their lives, this is happening to teenagers and young people every day here in Australia and all those young people will now be like this for the rest of their lives. For every teenager to actually see the consequences of their actions such as drink driving, stealing your parent’s car, texting while driving, it will deter them from committing such actions in the future. Having the nurses speak to us and physically seeing the process of a car crash victim, this sticks in your mind, it stuck in mine. I believe that yesterday’s trip w a life changing experience for many people and we should be thankful to our teachers for arranging this for us and we should thank the staff of the Royal North Shore Hospital for giving up their time to show us the true consequences of actions that many see as harmless. If Saint Vincent’s for example could do something like this for all the boys here at Waverley College, then it would be the best experience for the boys because they will be educated and deterred from drinking and driving, speeding to impress mates and texting while driving.
I can safely say that myself along with my peers took many things away from today’s experience at the hospital. I feel that the information presented to us about harms associated with drug and alcohol abuse, as well as the damaging effect risky behaviour can have on a young life was extremely important and relevant for us to hear (given our age/gender group being most at risk). Also, the stories of how lives like Matt’s were changed forever due to harmful behaviours put all of the prior warnings and info into perspective and made it a reality. I think the excursion was very well managed as a whole by the hospital staff, and one of the best school excursions I have attended.
Today was a very eye opening program that I wish all students should get the opportunity to experience. Throughout the day we all learned about the life long consequences of risk taking behaviour, not only on the patient but their extended family, friends, first responders and all medical staff involved. The program walked us through real life situations with patients & doctors, which meant the style of learning was more engaging and knowledgeable for us. The P.A.R.T.Y program is extremely valuable to future students due to the harsh reality of risk taking behaviour amongst teenagers. The program is also a form of education that can’t be taught anywhere else as it would not have the same benefits if done in school classrooms.
I was reading about the possible cessation of the P.A.R.T.Y program. I think this is an invaluable opportunity for our boys to learn first hand the effects alcohol can have on their lives, especially when so many are starting to experiments and another important step to help them own their actions. It would be a real shame for this program to stop after 2019 and I certainly would like to lend my voice to its continuation.
I am writing to express my support for the Prevention of Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth programme. This is an invaluable excursion for teenagers at a very impressionable and vulnerable time of the lives. It would be wonderful if this can be expanded to the Eastern suburbs or continued for Waverley Students in the North Shore so that more youths can be educated on risks and preventable accidents and the sad consequences that can occur. I strongly hope that this can be supported by the hospital as if one boy learns to follow the motto “Live once, think twice” preventing them to make a bad choice it would be worth every investment made.
I read with interest the news item in last week’s Nurrunga regarding P.A.R.T.Y. and disappointed to learn that the program won’t be continued past 2018. I would like to see this invaluable experience continue in 2019 and send this email to you as a letter of support advocating for the continuation of this program and/or the expansion and provision of this program in the Eastern Suburbs. Sometimes being able to see first-hand provides our young men a deeper understanding and provides a reason to think differently about the actions or decisions they may make.
I was disappointed to hear that the P.A.R.T.Y program was no longer to be offered to the boys of Waverley College. I have a son in Year 10 and one in Year 8. As anyone who has anything to do with teenagers will understand, you can talk to them all you like about risk and consequences but at this stage of their development they believe they are bullet proof, as most have not seen or suffered the consequences of life changing tragedy. Therefore, I believe that a program like P.A.R.T.Y is vital to creating an understanding in them of the very real possibility of harm or tragedy entering their lives by seeing firsthand the results and the hearing from the people who deal with it on a daily basis. A visual and real life encounter with emergency services and the place where all this takes place is vital to the boys gaining an understanding of the risk of injury posed by unthinking, impulsive behaviour. I believe such an encounter would promote a pause for thought moment in some and hopefully all of the teenagers who have the opportunity to attend. This is a very real and practical way to get the message home to teenagers. It would be an enormous shame if such a program were no longer available at Royal North Shore or in the Eastern Suburbs where they are likely to end up in the case of an accident. I cannot fathom why such a program would not be readily available to all schools.
I’m writing to you about the Prevention of Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth program that Waverley College has been a part of. Reading about this program on Facebook and in the College newsletter, I was blown away and thought what an amazing opportunity for our boys to participate in. There are far too many life changing ‘accidents’ caused by bad choices within our community and I think this kind of practical experience would resonate deeply with our boys. It would be so sad to see this program come to an end. Please let me know of any further support I can offer to help maintain Waverley’s participation in this program.
Our family would like to deeply request that the PARTY programme continue into 2019 and beyond, at the proposed St Vincent’s. Our children today are exposed to so much dangerous information that they don’t yet have the faculties to understand via online media or simply in their peer groups. Children today are finding themselves in situations where they don’t stop and think about their decisions, which can be absolutely life threatening. It seems that experts in the field are definitely the people who can make the strongest impact on our kids, to help them stop and think, in order to make decisions that will keep all our kids safe. We applaud such a valuable programme and are very grateful that the school be part of such an initiative.
Thank you very much for giving my son the opportunity to attend yesterday. He spoke a lot last night about what he had seen and heard to his Dad, myself and his 2 also teenage sisters. He was full of admiration for the young man who told his very sad story of becoming a paraplegic, including links with earlier drug use. The man’s insights into how drugs felt good at first but really made everything worse made a real impact on Angus. One of those messages that any parent or teacher could give – but from someone that has been through it, has a different impact on a teenager. My son has also come back with a very detailed understanding of how Emergency, ICU, Ambulance Services link together – and the role of the ambulance officers, nursing, medical, physio, OT and social workers in the care of patients and their families. It is a day that will always be remembered by my son – hopefully as he guides himself, his friends and family to avoid risky behaviour. It would be wonderful if this program was established at POWH OR SVH so eastern suburbs schools had access.
I am writing in support of the P.A.R.T.Y. program. As the mother of an current year 8 student I feel it is an important program to continue at Waverley College. My son and his peers would benefit greatly from this insight. They really need to be shown the real life consequences of their actions and I feel this program would be invaluable for them. I support the continuation of this program and know that all parents of my sons peers would also.
Thanks again to everyone who took time to email me with their support.
Men’s Health Week – Making Health Connections
The health status of males in most countries, including Australia, is generally poorer than that of females. On Average the life expectancy for males is 4 years less than females. In most cases the last 11 years of a man’s life will be spent in poor health due to preventable lifestyle choices. More males than females die at every stage through the life span. More males have accidents, more males take their own lives and more males suffer from lifestyle-related health conditions than females of the same age. Meanwhile, men are less frequent visitors to general practitioners, and the perception is that they don’t care about health or that health services are not structured to interact with men effectively.
Each year, Men’s Health Week provides an opportunity to prioritize our own health and wellbeing as well as the men that we care about. In Australia, Men’s Health Week provides a platform for challenging and debating key issues in men’s health and to raise the profile of men, their health outcomes and health needs around the country. Each year we take time out to celebrate the qualities and attributes of men, the contributions they make and the important role they play in society. The focus for 2018 is on “Making Healthy Connections”, social connectedness and belonging is one of the biggest protective factors in terms of Mental Health and Wellness.
During the course of the week the boys will participate in a series of events and house based activities designed to prioritise the power of positive social connections and healthy lifestyle choices. The key event will once again be our Sunrise Fathers and Sons Pilates session thanks to Advanz Therapies and our Senior Student leaders. This will take place 7:00am Thursday morning on Bondi Beach in front of the main lifeguard tower. BOOK HERE TO ATTEND
We look forward to seeing you there.