By Simon Strahan, CEO DrinkWise
DrinkWise has again demonstrated the value of a partnership approach in the pursuit of better health outcomes, and in doing so, received the support of prominent and well-known Australians.
You Got This is a campaign to provide encouragement to Year 12 students who may be feeling stressed and anxious after dealing with the pandemic-induced challenges of isolation, home schooling and lack of socialisation.
After initially thinking this initiative would be a one-off DrinkWise campaign last year, 2021 turned out to be even tougher for so many students, with research showing a significant decline in the mental health of the Class of 2021 when compared to the Class of 2020. For example:
- 58 per cent of Year 12s are feeling anxious about their own mental health (up from 41 per cent in 2020).
- Only 41 per cent of students feel good about what’s happening in their life (down from 52 per cent in 2020).
- 41 per cent of school-leavers are worried about a friend’s mental health (up from 23 per cent in 2020).
These results are concerning and highlight the difficulties being faced by school leavers. Of particular concern to DrinkWise, a proportion of Year 12 students were turning to alcohol in an attempt to cope with stress. It’s critical that both students and their families know that professional support is available, because trying to relieve stress or anxiety with alcohol or drugs is not the answer. With research telling us that underage alcohol consumption and legal age misuse has the propensity to lead to problematic drinking behaviours later in life, recognising and addressing these issues has the chance to improve future health outcomes for this generation.
You Got This is about encouraging students to remain positive, stay resilient, remember that one year doesn’t define the rest of your life, and to please reach out for help if needed. The initiative is supported by Headspace, Beyond Blue, ReachOut, Kids Helpline and My Mirror support services.
You Got This – Class of 2021 video support messages are led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and feature prominent Australians including musicians Cody Simpson and Clare Bowditch; television hosts and journalists Georgie Gardner, Leigh Sales and Peter Overton; sportsperson Kurt Fearnle; politicians Anthony Albanese, Greg Hunt, Tanya Plibersek and Penny Wong; and also AFL/AFLW/NRL/NRLW players, Rugby Union stars, leadership experts and psychologists, basketballers, comedians and artists.
Visit yougotthis.org.au for more information and to view the messages of support.
This article originally appeared in the December issue of National Liquor News.