Youth give tips on how to stay healthy and happy

Launceston College students Alice Goss, 17, Maddy McNear, 17, and Breanna Mason, 17, make the most of a free barbecue at Headspace in Launceston yesterday with #switchitround project manager Dominique Smith. Picture: GEOFF ROBSON

Launceston College students Alice Goss, 17, Maddy McNear, 17, and Breanna Mason, 17, make the most of a free barbecue at Headspace in Launceston yesterday with #switchitround project manager Dominique Smith. Picture: GEOFF ROBSON

MENTAL health and the need to divert youth from alcohol consumption and smoking were key issues highlighted at an International Youth Day celebration in Launceston yesterday.

The event, which was held by Headspace's #switchitround health project team, gave young people an opportunity to share their tips on how to stay happy and healthy, while they enjoyed a free barbecue, fun activities and giveaways.

Project manager Dominique Smith said the project aimed to reduce drinking and smoking rates among young people and to shift ideas of socially acceptable behaviour.

"I'm trying to reduce the rates of smoking and drinking with young people and getting them to think of alternatives - getting them to participate in activities that don't involve smoking and drinking," she said.

"It's not putting the blame and pointing the finger at young people but it's getting them to think about positive things."

Ms Smith said that yesterday's event aimed to highlight the mental health issues that young people were dealing with and alert them to Headspace's services.

She said some had even inspired her with their tips on how to stay happy and healthy.

Launceston College students Alice Goss, Maddy McNear and Breanna Mason, all 17, said it was important for people suffering from mental health issues to talk to someone they trusted.

An Instagram page for #switchitround was launched at yesterday's event, which encouraged youth to hashtag the project with photos or videos.

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