Headspace support program targets youth safety

Headspace Murray Bridge is a key partner of the Murray Bridge Safe Drug Action Team, which is developing an early intervention and prevention project for young people and families to counteract drug and alcohol misuse in the community. 

The team recently conducted online surveys of nearly 500 young people, family, and friends in the region.

The survey outcomes highlighted peer group pressure as the strongest influencing factor for young people to use substances.

The survey confirmed that a primary prevention approach utilising a peer support program approach would be most suitable to address peer relationships, peer group pressure, and to promote social, emotional and mental wellbeing in young people.

The Murray Bridge Safe Drug Action Team is now utilising the headspace Youth Ambassador Peer Support model which is a unique peer-based program.

Young volunteers, supported by the Youth Ambassador coordinator, attend secondary schools and sports clubs to facilitate interactive 40 to 60-minute workshops.

These workshops increase awareness and knowledge of mental health and substance use issues, and promote services available to young people aged 12-25. Topics that will be offered include general mental health information, tips for managing stress, information about substance use issues relating to young people, and more.

The ambassadors are given the opportunity to participate in valuable training to build their skills and knowledge.

The group of young people involved in the program recently completed training in public speaking.

There was unanimous positive feedback that the training was useful and helped develop confidence when speaking to a group.

The group look forward to completing their Youth Mental Health First Aid training early next year.

If you or someone you know is aged between 15 and 25 and interested in joining the Youth Ambassador program, contact Emma Rance on 8531 2122 or email connections@mmgpn.org.au.

If you work at a school or are involved in a sporting club and would like to invite the Youth Ambassadors to present to your group use the contacts listed above.

                                                                                                                                                Emma Rance,

Community connections officer,

headspace Murray Bridge