Report of Mental Health and Young People Conference 2011

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Of Young People 2011, South Bank 1/4/11.
The  two storey Performance Centre at South Bank TAFE was packed to capacity with teachers, health workers, psychologists and social workers. We came together in excited anticipation for what the day was to deliver; and with a shared commitment to working with young people through our various professions and agencies. The polite banter amongst participants was silenced as the proceedings commenced at 0900 sharp.
The audience was captivated by the numerous speakers, who provided genuinely expert lectures on mental health, drug and alcohol use, cyber safety, bullying, resilience, disaster recovery, sexualization of pre-teens and eating disorders as each relate to young people. There was little room for networking with others as participants sat transfixed while each speaker struggled, unsuccessfully on the whole, to conclude their presentations within pre-defined timeframes. The presentations were brilliant, engaging and humorous, subject matter not withstanding. When participants were not fully engaged in proceedings, they ate the gourmet food offerings which covered every possible dietary requirement.
A highlight amongst highlights was our participation en-mass in a session of 'Silent Mindfulness', a meditation method which has achieved amazing results in trials within schools and workplaces. This, like most of the information delivered on the day can be applied within our work; as well as within our teams. I came away from the day refreshed, enthused and positive about the prospect of integrating all that was learned. Few left before the last speaker concluded at 5pm.
I have requested electronic copies of all presentations, which I will distribute. In the meantime here is a paraphrased summary, of the most relevant sections.
Alcohol and Drugs
Paul Dillon, Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia
• 90% of young people are not using Cannabis and 60% of those...