Secondary students’ sexual health survey results

La Trobe University, 11th June 2019

The sixth National Survey of Australian Secondary Students and Sexual Health, conducted in 2018 and released today, found 47 per cent of Year 10-12 students taking the survey had engaged in sexual intercourse.  Of sexually active respondents, 76 per cent had sex at home; 65 per cent with a boyfriend or girlfriend; 62 percent often or always used a condom; and 86 per cent with somebody about the same age.

Lead researcher at La Trobe University’s Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society Dr Christopher Fisher said the survey asked 6327 Year 10-12 students in Government, Catholic and Independent schools from each state and territory, about their sexual behaviour and knowledge of sexually transmitted infections.

“Overall, young Australians have good knowledge of sexual health, are behaving responsibly and are actively seeking out trusted, reliable sources of information,” Dr Fisher said.

Let’s make it mandatory to teach respectful relationships in every Australian school

The Conversation, May 28, 2019 5.45am AEST

Media reports of findings from the latest National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey caused a stir in recent days, with some highlighting the importance of education programs to teach young people about gender-based violence.

Schools play a significant role in educating young people about gender-based violence and helping change the underlying attitudes that lead to it.

National abortion data vital to safe, accessible services

MJA InSight+, Issue 10 / 18 March 2019

EXPERTS are in the dark about the extent to which abortion is contributing to Australia’s historically low teenage birth rate, prompting renewed calls for the collection of national abortion data.

In a Perspective published by the MJA, Professor Susan Sawyer, Chair of Adolescent Health at the University of Melbourne, and Dr Jennifer Marino, research fellow at the University of Melbourne, have called for the collection of abortion data in all states and territories, with national integration and analysis. They further called for publicly funded abortion clinics in all states and territories, with a feasible plan for access for people living in remote areas.

Condom handouts in schools prevent disease without encouraging sex

The Guardian,

Making condoms available to teenagers at school does not make them more promiscuous – but neither does it reduce teenage pregnancy rates.

According to a major review by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), giving out condoms in secondary schools does not increase sexual activity, or encourage young people to have sex at an earlier age.

The research, thought to be the largest review of scientific literature on the issue, found that introducing condoms to schools reduced sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

More Support for Young People with Complex Mental Health Needs

Adelaide phn, February 7 2019

Adelaide PHN and Sonder have opened the doors to emerge – a new, free service in Adelaide’s outer northern and outer southern metropolitan regions, specifically created to help people from 16-25 years old who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing severe and complex mental illness.

The program aims to help young people who might otherwise “fall through the cracks”.

Commissioned and funded by Adelaide PHN as part of a suite of mental health services across the metropolitan region, emerge has a specific focus on young people dealing with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, psychosis, trauma and borderline personality disorder, where these conditions are having a significant impact on their lives.

Emerge will provide these young people with access to client and family-centred treatment that is specialised, clinical and evidence-based.

Within the new program, the young person, their family, clinicians, peer workers, care coordinators etc. will work as a team towards the goal of wellness and recovery.

Emerge will operate from Sonder-run headspace centres – Edinburgh North and Onkaparinga – with services commencing on 11 February 2019.

Referrals can be received from GPs and other primary health care providers. Alternatively, young people can self-refer or be referred through a school or community worker. Families, carers or friends can also refer on behalf of the young person, however these referrals must take place with the person’s consent.

Adelaide PHN has also provided funding for additional youth mental health services at headspace Adelaide and Port Adelaide, and will announce further mental health services for Aboriginal youth in the coming months.

For further information about emerge, please contact Sonder on (08) 8209 0700 or visit the website www.sonder.net.au.

For more information about Adelaide PHN visit  adelaidephn.com.au.

Scotland to embed LGBTI teaching across curriculum

The Guardian, 9/12/2018

Scotland will become the first country in the world to embed the teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights in the school curriculum, in what campaigners have described as a historic moment.

State schools will be required to teach pupils about the history of LGBTI equalities and movements, as well as tackling homophobia and transphobia and exploring LGBTI identity, after ministers accepted in full the recommendations of a working group led by the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign. There will be no exemptions or opt-outs to the policy, which will embed LGBTI inclusive education across the curriculum and across subjects and which the Scottish government believes is a world first.