Youth Wellbeing Project
The Youth Wellbeing Project aims to increase the capacity of Indigenous communities in the NT affected by alcohol and other drugs, with a focus on petrol sniffing. The Project aims to respond to the need for education around substance use and minimise the harm associated with substance use. The overall goals for the Project include a decrease in crime related to petrol sniffing and the improvement of the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous communities.
1. To reduce the incidence of volatile substance misuse amongst young people in remote communities in the Top End region of the Northern Territory.
2. To improve the social and emotional wellbeing of communities through increasing awareness of and access to health services.
3. To develop the knowledge base and skills level of community members, community Night Patrol workers and other service providers to enable them to tackle the issue of substance misuse by the provision of accredited training.
4. To increase the capacity of Top End communities to address volatile substance misuse through applying a community development approach and working collaboratively with Indigenous communities and other service providers.
Activities this year
This year we are looking at focusing our efforts in NT town camps and in creating partnerships with other youth services as well as continuing our work with education providers and remote communities. We welcome Noeletta McKenzie to the team, who has a background with youth in Maningrida. If you think that your community or organisation could benefit from learning more about the effects of substance use in an fun, interactive way please contact our staff to get involved!
Achievements to date
Our Youth Wellbeing workers have so far delivered the program to young offenders at the Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre, St John’s College and a number of communities across the Northern Territory, from Nguiu (Bathurst Island) to Alice Springs (Central Australia) and from Borroloola (Gulf of Carpentaria) to Yarralin (Katherine region).
Strategies which we have utilised so far to minimize the harm caused by volatile substances include limiting access to volatile substances through the implementation of OPAL fuel, supporting the development of action groups and creating new resources and guides for people involved with youth using volatile substances. The Youth Wellbeing Project works closely with the Volatile Substance Misuse Program in CAAPS, both in referring clients to the 8 week residential program and in conducting follow-ups when in the client’s home communities when they have finished the program.