Hon Stephen Dawson MLC

Hon Stephen Dawson MLC

Minister for Emergency Services; Innovation and the Digital Economy; Medical Research; Volunteering

    Targeted social media campaigns to help keep Leavers safe

    15/11/2021 12:15 PM
    • New social media campaigns talk directly to Leavers about alcohol and other drugs
    • Harm minimisation campaigns are an important part of wider strategy to keep kids safe
    • Resources available for parents to help teenagers make good choices
    • About 9,000 Leavers expected at celebrations in the South-West 

    The State Government has invested in a targeted social media campaign to help keep our young people safe at Leavers Week.


    Two new social media campaigns have been developed that talk directly to Leavers about issues such as alcohol, drugs, consent, the 'buddy system', staying hydrated and being sun smart, and what to do if they feel unwell or unsafe. Alcohol is the main drug of concern, contributing to the majority of presentations to medical services at previous Leavers events, and far exceeding presentations for other drugs.


    Starting on the weekend and running until the end of November, the Alcohol.Think Again Leavers campaign and the Drug Aware Party Smarter campaign will target 16, 17 and 18-year-old Leavers through digital channels and in-venue messaging. Peer-informed and evidence-based, the campaigns will be geo-targeted to Leavers in the South-West where the biggest event is being held and can also be shared across all social media platforms.


    WA Leavers events are alcohol, drug and smoke-free, however, evidence shows that some young people will still use alcohol and other drugs.


    Reducing the harm that can be caused by alcohol and other drugs is the major focus of WA Government agencies that are supporting this year's Leavers events. While the safest choice is to not drink or use drugs, harm minimisation strategies are a key component of all event management plans.


    More information for parents to help them support their teens to stay safe at Leavers can be found at Leavers WA - Information and tips for parents | Alcohol.Think Again.


    There is also an official Leavers WA 2021 website.


    Comments attributed to Mental Health Minister Stephen Dawson:


    "Our Year 12s have worked hard and come through a tough year and we want them to have the best Leavers experience possible. Our priority is helping to keep them safe.


    "While Leavers events are alcohol, drug and smoke-free, we know that some young people will still use alcohol and other drugs. Our focus for Leavers, and indeed at any big event where young people gather, is to reduce the risk of harm.


    "We know that many young people who attend Leavers celebrations do so with a plan to drink alcohol. This, combined with sun, dehydration, minimal sleep, partying, and other things that come with Leavers celebrations, can put them at increased risk of harm.


    "Parents also have such an important role to play in supporting their teens to reduce their risk of harm. As a parent it's important to talk to your teenager openly about alcohol and drugs, including discussing your expectations and supporting them to make plans for different scenarios.


    "Equipping your teenager with accurate information about the effects, risks, and ways to reduce harm will help them make informed choices, and can also prepare them to look after one another."


    Minister's office - 6552 5800