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Wishlist funding to help high-risk teens

Sunshine Coast Public School Nurses at the Community Health Hub for Training Day.

A Wishlist grant of $11,250 will fund a new student prevention program aiming to help eliminate alcohol as the leading cause of death for 15-29-year-olds.

The Preventure program, which received the 2019 Primary Prevention Award by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, will begin with a personality test taken by Year 7 and 8 students in many public schools across the Coast.

Workshops that follow are designed to teach positive coping strategies to youth who are at a high-risk of making dangerous choices as they enter their teenage years.

The funding allows 13 School Based Youth Health Nurses, at $750 per person, to receive training across the 15th and 16th of August, so they are qualified to carry out the program.

The Sydney-based trainers will also provide student and teacher manuals and follow-up assistance to the trained school nurses as required.

Chancellor State Secondary College School Based Youth Health Nurse Kerry Percival said the student test and following program is a beneficial way to support teens without overwhelming them.

“Health promotion and early intervention activities form a major part of the role of the School Based Youth Health Nurse,” she said.

“By increasing the nurses capacity to respond in innovative and evidence-based ways to the needs of young people provides a valuable addition to their skill set in schools.

“The test aims to address what these students are prone to, and then put the appropriate skills in their hands to make positive future choices.”

As part of the program, students across the whole year level will complete a personality questionnaire that will identify those most in need of the prevention workshops.

Those at high risk include students scoring above average on traits of impulsivity, anxiety sensitivity, negative thinking or sensation seeking, as well as students with ADHD or trauma disorders.

Once identified, students in each personality-category are invited to be grouped together and attend two 90-minute workshops to participate in goal-setting exercises designed to enhance motivation and change behaviour.

Wishlist’s funding program is possible thanks to the support of people and businesses in our Sunshine Coast community.

The funds for this project come directly from this year’s 92.7 MixFM’s Give Me 5 For Kids Campaign, where over half a million dollars was raised for the health of local children.

Causes for this year’s Give Me 5 For Kids Campaign included funding for Local Clown Doctors, Inter-Hospital Paediatric Critical Care Transport Equipment, Children’s Yoga Therapy and Distraction Therapy.

To find out more or make a donation, visit https://www.wishlist.org.au/