The Circle Education is launching its ‘party awareness week’. By sharing articles about the ‘party culture’ on Salt Spring Island, we want to give some attention to the harmful risks youth could face while growing up in a small, rural community.
For years, we have listened to young people in our community about how they crave and seek out entertainment and risks. “The reality is that there is not much to do for youth on the island and, barring other healthy options and opportunities, some will turn to drugs and alcohol. And we all know that teenage brains are not great at avoiding harm, even without those substances,” says facilitator Kate Nash who has been working with teenagers on a weekly basis for more than ten years.
In addition, The Circle Education is sponsoring Island’s Health P.A.R.T.Y. Program at GISS. The P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) Program is a one-day injury awareness and prevention program for youth aged 15 and older. In this program, participants hear firsthand experiences from police officers, paramedics, doctors, nurses, the blood and tissue bank, rehabilitation professionals, and injury ambassadors at the scene of a substance-related accident.
These experiences of other people are a good way to start conversations. Nash: “Even though we have notions about what is right and wrong for youth, it’s not a reason not to talk about it. It is important for us to be curious and ask questions with as little judgment as possible. We can’t stop our children’s actions but we can keep the lines of communication open so that we are still able to support and guide them”.
You can read an article about the ‘party culture’ on Salt Spring Island here. We also talked with our board member Olivia Hayne, who lost her brother Alistair in a non-malicious shooting accident. You can read the story here.