Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital is running a program, with the support of RBWH Foundation, to educate youths about the potential consequences of alcohol and risky behaviour. The Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y.) program demonstrates what happens when a teenager is involved in a trauma from the arrival of the paramedics through to rehabilitation and physiotherapy.
The P.A.R.T.Y. program has been designed around a similar program that was established in Ontario Canada in 1986. It aims to promote injury prevention by engaging young people through reality education. Around 40 per cent of deaths in teenagers and young adults aged between 15 and 25 years are caused through trauma. Trauma also leaves many more youths with disabilities and serious injuries. These injuries are on the rise and are often associated with alcohol and drugs.
More that 480 students from twelve different schools have been through the one-day course in the past 15 months. They have been addressed by doctors, ambulance officers, maxillofacial and craniofacial surgeons and injury survivors who talk about their experiences.
Students who have taken part in the program said that personal stories of preventable tragedies, had shocked them into thinking more carefully about their own choices.
Participants put on "Fatal Vision beer goggles", which mimic the effects of alcohol, and perform simple activities such as throwing and catching balls, walking around obstacles and trying to find Brisbane on a map to experience the impairment that comes with drinking too much without the hangover.
Occupational therapists tie students' arms to simulate losing a limb and ask them to try and put their hair in a pony tail, tie their shoelaces, or butter a piece of bread. Ambulance officers, emergency medicine specialists and trauma surgeons also talk to students about the carnage they have seen on the job.
RBWH Foundation is especially grateful for the financial generosity and partnership of Network of Caring and RACQ who have recognised the long-term benefits of educating our youth through preventative measures to change behaviours that may save lives in the future. If we can save the life of one young person or one young adult and prevent a family going through a lifetime of major traumatic experience, we believe we have achieved our goal.
RBWH Foundation welcomes both of these organisations on board and encourage your enquiries as to how you can be part of this critical youth education program.