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Noffs Foundation use the arts to keep peers safe

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7 Feb

Noffs Foundation use the arts to keep peers safe

launch-admin Feb 7, 2013 0 1373



Mount Druitt Street University launch real life film on the effects of alcohol use


7 February, 2013: The Noffs Foundation, a leading youth services organisation’s Mount Druitt Street University are today releasing a new council and Housing NSW funded educational video around responsible drinking for youths, in an attempt to help combat bad drinking habits in the community.


The documentary style video, produced by Street University participants, offers advice from young people for young people about the consequences of excessive drinking. It also offers tactics on how to make safer, better decisions regarding alcohol consumption. The interviews also feature real life experiences witnessed by young people as a result of reckless drinking.


The project, which received $10,000 in funding from Blacktown council and Housing NSW, has been produced as a resource for fellow youth services, Juvenile Justice, Community Services as well as various other community groups.


Street University is a free educational and recreational centre available to marginalised youth seeking support, social interaction or training.


Noffs Street University Manager, Julie Dubuc, says the fact that the video was developed, edited and produced by young people makes it more effective at getting important messages about drinking and safety across, as most youths are likely to be influenced by their peers.


“Our program promotes group learning and engagement, so we felt it was only right that our young people had the opportunity to tell their friends about the realities of alcohol through this video,” she said. “Plus, they have a bigger impact on young people’s choices as their stories are generally relatable.


“The arts are a powerful influencer, as we’ve seen from our various music and dance workshops. They provide a place for young people in the community to seek support, friendship and opportunity. We hope this video achieves the same success.”


The topics highlighted in the film were identified during a focus group held by Street University with youths from the programme as well as experienced shared by older peers from the community. The idea behind this process was to ensure the content was relevant and of interest to the young people. Music was written and composed by students from the regular Street University music workshop.


Whilst the production segment of the project in itself was an excellent community exercise that has produced an innovative educational tool; the film also tackles some really serious issues surrounding youths and alcohol abuse.


In Australia, 12.7 per cent of people aged 16-24 are estimated to have a substance use disorder[1]. Just recently, the Cancer Council in Victoria revealed that young people were drinking at risky levels with 37 per cent consuming more than four drinks on one occasion within the past seven days. The research conducted for the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing were looking at a sample size that included 12 year olds who had consumed alcohol.


Mrs Dubuc said that although the negative affects of drinking alcohol was one of the biggest issues effecting young people, it didn’t need to be that way.


“That’s what this film is all about,” she said. “We wanted to send a positive message to young people about the choices they have and the alternative options available to them,” she said. “Whilst our aim with the video is about reducing the intake and consequences of alcohol consumption amongst young people, it’s also about educating them about how to keep mates and themselves safe.


To view the video click here:


Services will also receive a questionnaire developed by Street University, which accompanies the video for use during interventions. Copies can be obtained through Street University.


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Media contact: Sarah Tsiros (02) 9492 1034 / 0466 805 364 or sarah@launchgroup.com.au

About the Noffs Foundation: About the Noffs Foundation: The Noffs Foundation is one of Australia’s leading youth services providers, and an advocate for best practice in drug and alcohol provision, prevention and treatment. The Noffs Foundation was founded in 1970 by the great Australian humanitarian Reverend Ted Noffs to provide essential services for young people who experience drug and alcohol problems and related trauma, and their families. Noffs has pioneered new community outreach initiatives, including the opening of free educational and artistic recreational centres to support young people who are homeless, using drugs, involved with crime or simply need someone to talk to. Other services include residential and day programs, individual and group counselling, education, training and group outdoor activities. The Noffs foundation supports thousands of people every year. 

[1] Reavley, NJ, Cvetkovski, S, et al. Help-seeking for substance use, anxiety and affective disorders among young people: results from the 2007 Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2010 Aug;44(8):729-35.