What is Planet Youth?
Planet Youth Blue Mountains is a community-centred project aimed at preventing alcohol and drug use amongst young people by strengthening the social environment they grow up in.
Planet Youth works by focusing on the things that help protect young people from substance use. It is about understanding their attitudes and behaviours, and then it’s about supporting parents, carers and communities to work together to find positive ways to reduce risk of substance use by strengthening ‘protective factors’.
Planet Youth began in the 90s in Iceland as a local initiative. Over the next 20 years, Iceland changed the game. They went from having the highest rates of substance use amongst young people in Europe, to having the lowest. Planet Youth is now being adopted by communities all over the world. The Blue Mountains is one of five pilot sites for the program in Australia.
Did you know?
The Planet Youth research highlighted a concerning level of substance use amongst Year 10 students in the Blue Mountains. But it also revealed that there are a number of things we can do right now that have been proven to reduce substance use amongst young people. Find out more about the survey findings at http://www.planetyouthbm.net.au
Planet Youth activity is ramping up in the Mountains.
The local Planet Youth project is now established and about to ramp up. The Blue Mountains City Council has appointed a dedicated Planet Youth Project Officer and a number of community organisations are actively working on the program. The focus now is to tell more people about the program and support parents, carers, schools and the broader community to start working together to strengthen the key protective factors that prevent substance use and make a positive difference to the lives of our young people.
A dedicated local website and social media pages have now been launched so people can learn more and connect with the project. The second survey will be run in local high schools later this year to help us understand more about our young people and what we can do to help them avoid substance use so they can live a full life.
How can people get involved?
The power of the Planet Youth approach is in the community. It is all about people learning, connecting and taking action together. As a first step, people can learn more by going to the Planet Youth Blue Mountains website and follow the Instagram and Facebook pages. There will be information sessions and community conversations held online and face-to-face (when possible), and we hope to see local groups forming that people can join. But the most important thing people can do now is just start a conversation.
◐ PYBM Website Launched
◐ PYBM Social Media Launched
◐ Poster Competition Open
◐ Confirmation of Survey #2
◐ School-Parent Info Sessions
◐ Community Info Sessions
◐ Poster Winners Announced
◐ Year 10 Student Survey # 2