The Alfred’s highly successful P.A.R.T.Y Program will be extended to 2019 thanks to a funding boost announced this week.
P.A.R.T.Y – Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth – graphically demonstrates the consequences of risky behaviour, including drug and alcohol use, by showing secondary school students the costs first-hand.
Victorian Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley, announced the extended funding when he joined Parade College students on a P.A.R.T.Y tour at The Alfred.
Each year, more than 200 schools across the state vie for the opportunity to take part in the program, which enables students to tour the Emergency Department, ICU, trauma and burns wards. Students are able to speak to patients and staff, and hear how trauma impacts lives and families.
Senior P.A.R.T.Y. Program Coordinator Rebecca Chapman said since the program began in 2009, around 5800 students from 148 schools across Victoria have taken part.
Every year paramedics respond to around 7000 call-outs involving young people aged 15-24 and drug or alcohol-related issues.
“P.A.R.T.Y. is a unique program and it’s showing real results, which is why it’s so popular among schools,” Rebecca said.
“Our research shows that risk perception actually increases in young people who participate in the program – that is, they’re more able to identify risks that may result in trauma. Prevention is the most effective solution for trauma so having young people being able to identify trauma-related risks is really important.
“We’re very grateful for this latest funding as it will enable us to continue to deliver this very important program to more students across more schools in Victoria.”
P.A.R.T.Y. operates through The Alfred and Royal Melbourne Hospitals and is largely supported by the National Trauma Research Institute. The Alfred also has an outreach component, where teams travel to regional Victoria to educate youth in other areas.