Students in Year 11 and 12 had the opportunity to participate in the P.A.R.T.Y. – Preventing Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth – program at the Busselton Health Campus. The program has a strong message encouraging teens to think about the consequences of their actions before taking risks. Students heard from a trauma nurse, an emergency department doctor and nurse, drug and alcohol counsellor, speech therapist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist and a member of the Paraplegic Benefit Fund. Students experienced some aspects of what life is like for those who experience a significant trauma. Activities included trying to communicate without speaking, sampling thickened water and coke for those who have swallowing difficulties, getting around in a wheelchair, trying to perform basic First Aid while wearing alcohol impairment simulation goggles and seeing what happens in the emergency department for a trauma admission.
Overall it was an excellent day and the students were highly engaged in the talks and activities. We would like to thank the staff and volunteers who put a lot of time and effort into making the day so engaging.
Miss Needham compiled the following reflection: ‘In my 15 years of teaching experience, this is the best health promotion activity I have seen. Here is some feedback from the students so you can see what they thought of the day:
The P.A.R.T.Y Program opened my eyes about the issues I may face in the future. Seeing firsthand what the emergency department deals with was, in my opinion, interesting and I loved how open the crew was about any queries. Paul - young man who once surfed, deep sea dived and generally loved exciting his life. Now, a quadriplegic who hasn’t let him disabilities get the best of him. He shared some really great tips and was able to connect well with others, as he was also open about his struggles and showed me personally, no matter how bad things are for me, someone who’s a quadriplegic can be happy. So why can’t I?
Now the next time I go to a party I can reduce risk for my peers and myself. Definitely recommend this program.
I thought it was really beneficial and worth going. I learnt a lot. It was really good hearing from Paul, that was really inspiring and put everything we learnt into perspective.
I really enjoyed it. All the speakers were really informative and helped open my eyes to all the ways you can avoid trauma incidents. My favourite part of the day would have to be when the guest speaker (Paul) shared his story of his spinal injury and how he didn’t let it stop him from doing the things he loved before his accident.
Today’s information sessions on drug and alcohol related trauma really opened my eyes to how life changing the smallest, dumb actions can potentially be. I believe that this program will have many benefits in the future for anyone considering making any silly choices, but rethinking thanks to the images and stories we were told today.
My favourite part of the day and what I took the most from was listening to Paul’s story. Hearing how quickly your life can change from a small decision opened my eyes. The frailty of life was greatly expressed which showed the importance of considering the consequence before acting. However, it wasn’t trying to coat us in cotton wool but telling us to enjoy life and take risks but consider the consequences first.
From what I've learnt today I have gained a greater understanding of how you need to treat your body. There is always choices you can make in certain situations and sometimes the wrong one can change your life.
I really enjoyed talking and listening to Paul the quadriplegic man, his story was extremely informative and inspirational.
Today was very informative and I enjoy it thoroughly!! It really opened my eyes to the dangers of risk taking actions.
My favourite part of the whole experience was finding out how hard it is to move around in a wheelchair. Finding out how hard it is just to do simple tasks such as opening a door when you can’t move your legs and you have to keep the door open while trying to push the wheels so that you can move through the door.
My favourite part of today was mainly all of it, including the interactive activities such as walking through the ED, getting a taste of what it would be like in a wheelchair and swallowing thickened water. It really amazed me how many people around my age go through drug and alcohol related traumas and how important it is to wear a seatbelt, think about my actions and not to take things for granted as anything can happen and I could easily end up in a wheelchair.
Today kind of just reinforced what I already know. I think it's good to occasionally just refresh your mind on the risks that are around us as teenagers, especially going into the next couple of years. It's just important to know your limits and be sensible. Things can dramatically change so quickly in your life.
Take home- I took home today, information about drug and alcohol related trauma and showed me that my friends and I need to be more aware of things that happen to my age group.
What I learnt- I learn to live... safely.
Favourite part- my favourite part of today was, mainly all of it. Including the interactive activities.
It blew me away of how often alcohol and drug related trauma occurs in people in my age group, it really opened my eyes to see that things like this does happen and encourages me to make little changes, even just making sure I wear a seat belt to Coles’