Hospital program helping young Canberrans to make smart choices

Released 30/08/2016

A program which educates young Canberrans about risky behaviour and the impact preventable injuries can have on their future will continue this year at the Canberra Hospital.

P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) ran as a pilot program throughout 2015 and proved incredibly popular with 271 students from seven ACT high schools participating.

Minister for Health Simon Corbell said a further nine schools signed up to the program when the pilot ended, which is why it was important to continue to support the program in 2016-17.

“Students spend a full day at the Canberra Hospital and actively participate in different scenarios that give them real insight into the types of trauma, injuries and rehabilitation that can result from traumatic and often preventable incidents,” Mr Corbell said.

“In the ACT, young people aged 16-24 years have the highest rates of injury, and this is an issue not only in our local community, but around Australia and the rest of the world.

“This is because it is a time when young people are making the transition to adulthood, becoming more independent and being faced with greater life choices and potential risks.

“The program shows young people that there can be dangerous and life-changing consequences to risky behaviour. It helps them to recognise situations that have the potential to cause injury and empowers them to make informed decisions.

“During the day long program, students have an opportunity to meet with young trauma survivors, doctors and nurses working at the hospital as well as workers from the ACT Ambulance Service, Australian Federal Police, Snowy Hydro Southcare and ACT Fire & Rescue.

“Students take part in physiotherapy and occupational therapy simulation-based learning scenarios, including using wheelchairs, crutches or learning how to do common kitchen duties without their dominant hand.

“It is a valuable and compelling learning experience for young people, and can have a positive impact on their lives.”

The program is offered free of charge to ACT high schools and involves students aged 15-16 years.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust for their support in initiating the very worthwhile program in the pilot phase,” Mr Corbell said.

The P.A.R.T.Y. program has been run in North America for the past 30 years and in Australia since 2006, and has been shown to have a positive impact on changing young people’s behaviours.

More information about the P.A.R.T.Y. program is available on the ACT Health website.

- Statement ends -

Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

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