Youth think tank

Saturday, 8th April, 2017

By Emily Roberts

A lack of entertainment and activities is causing some young people to turn to drugs and alcohol, according to the Broken Hill Youth Council.

The council spent yesterday gathering information on activities and entertainment, drug and alcohol use and mental health support from the city’s youngsters.

The forum was held in the Broken Hill High School hall.

“The Youth Council invited SRC students from the Willyama and Broken Hill high schools to attend and give us their opinions and ideas around three key topics,” said chairman of the BH Youth Council, Sasha Cox.

These main areas were identified from a survey of more than 120 students by the Youth Council.

Sasha said there was great participation from all the students.

“We’ve had a really positive response. Everyone was actively engaging to our questions,” she said.

“We split the day up into three sessions; the first session was about the lack of activities and entertainment.

“After recess we talked about drug and alcohol usage, and then the last session will be about mental health.

“We’ve also being doing group challenges to break it up.”

The students split into groups, with a Youth Council member leading each group.

“We value young people in our community and want to get their thoughts then we can take it that step further,” Sasha said.

“The youth are the future of Broken Hill; we need their input in decision-making and their needs.”

Sasha said they were coming up with really positive ideas about why certain problems were prevalent in Broken Hill.

She said a big concern was why young people might turn to alcohol and drugs.

“One of the items that was brought forward was that a lack of things for young people to do is increasing drug and alcohol use,” she said.

“If young people had more forms of entertainment provided to them this might change.”

Sasha said they were interested in specific suggestions that might develop into a plan.

“We want to be able to lead to a project,” she said.