THE confronting devastation of trauma injuries will meet Warrnambool teens and their parents face-to-face in a new education program next week.

The Alfred hospital’s PARTY program (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth) is aimed at senior school students, and the new PARTY OUTREACH program will be launched in Warrnambool.

Senior students and their parents will be presented with a snapshot of the potentially traumatic, yet often preventable, consequences of risky behaviour that can lead to life-long disabilities and even death.

The hospital’s PARTY program manager, Jen Thompson, said expanding and tailoring an already successful in-hospital program to meet the needs of regional centres in Victoria could help reduce the overrepresentation of youth in trauma.

“Trauma is responsible for 40 per cent of deaths in the 15 to 25-year-old age group,” she said.

“Many more are disabled from the effects of injuries sustained through involvement in a major trauma situation.”

Ms Thompson said bringing the program to Warrnambool and other regional centres, along with the right education, would help reduce youth trauma caused by drugs, alcohol, reckless driving or assaults.

“It has been shown that exposing young people and parents to the possible traumatic consequences of poor social choices, and providing them with resources to make more informed decisions, will have an impact on their perceptions and risk-related behaviour in the future.”

The two Warrnambool day sessions for 12 schools will run on Monday and Tuesday, with a resource session for parents on Monday from 6pm.

Building on the success of the in-hospital program, PARTY OUTREACH will be tailored to meet the needs of the Warrnambool community by working in partnership with the Warrnambool City Council, South West Healthcare, the Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre (WRAD), Brophy Family and Youth Services, Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria.

Any interested parents can contact 9076 8888 to register. All events are free of charge

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A physiotherapist with The Alfred hospital gives a demonstration of the possible consequences of risky behaviour to a group of senior secondary school students.

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