Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Plan to Support and Be Supported

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Plan to Support and Be Supported

Article excerpt

PLANNING and good friends can all help to reduce youth violence at group events like Schoolies.

It is no secret that if you get a lot of young adults together for a party and then add alcohol, you have a recipe for danger.

According to Dr Jim Donnelly, a lecturer and researcher in psychology with the School of Health and Human Sciences at Southern Cross University, alcohol shuts down the very parts of the brain needed to manage stressful situations and control behaviour.

At events like Schoolies where there are big crowds, plenty of alcohol, emotions are running high and young people are away from parental supervision, often for the first time, risk-taking behaviour skyrockets, he said.

A key strategy to managing these risks is to develop a plan before heading out, and before they find themselves in a potentially violent situation.

The strategy has to include a "back-away" plan, he said.

As soon as there is negative eye contact or posturing the strategy has to be to resist the impulse to confront, and back off. …

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