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More than 100 senior students from eight local high schools participated in Canterbury-
Bankstown’s second annual interactive drug, alcohol and mental health conference today.
The My Life, My Choice conference, which was run by Council in partnership with Youth
Off The Streets, as held at Revesby Workers Club.
Administrator, Richard Colley, said the conference provided a safe platform for students to
discuss the effects of risky behavior and how to look out for their mates.
“Sessions were designed to be fun, engaging and informative,” he said.
“Throughout the day, there were a series of interactive presentations from AlcoCups,
Headway ADP, Headspace and NSW Ambulance.
“These presentations covered a range of topics including the harms and risks of alcohol and
drugs, binge drinking, standard drink sizes and drink spiking, practical tips to help peers in
the event of intoxication and overdosing, impacts of social media on mental health, and how
to identify mental health symptoms in peers and themselves.”
One of the most harrowing parts of the conference was when students heared the personal
story of a local man who’s mission is to warn others about the effects of risky behavior.
When Michael Wright was 22 years old, it was one short moment that changed his life
forever. During a night out partying and drinking with his friends, a simple miscalculation
resulted in a severe brain injury and permanent damage.
“The injury destroyed my life,” he said. “I was two-months off completing my university
degree, but uni didn’t want me back - I was too injured.”
Despite the seriousness of his brain injury, Michael wants others to learn from his mistake,
and if they are faced with trauma, to remember to see the brighter side of life.
“Don’t let alcohol ruin your life,” he said. “Alcohol won’t make you superman but remember,
always have a laugh - there is a humorous side to everything.”
At the end of the conference, students created their own project/campaign in a bid to send
a positive message around mental health or alcohol, and other drugs. Students were then invited to present their projects to a panel during Mental Health Week (8-14 October).
A presentation will be held at Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre on Wednesday 11
October from 11am-1pm, with the winning school receiving a $1,000 prize.
We thank Youth Off The Streets and Bankstown Liquor Accord for sponsoring the event.
23/08/2017 2:22 PM