Pow­er­ful mes­sage for our youth

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

FOUR Proser­pine teenagers have de­cided to share their very per­sonal sto­ries with the world in the hope that bul­ly­ing and youth sui­cide might be­come prob­lems of the past.

Kane Tay­lor, Tas­man Des­mond, Jar­rah Kennedy and Keisha McEwan have put to­gether a YouTube video called “I’ll stand by you”, which al­ready has more than 1000 views.

In the video, each of these young peo­ple talks about their own ex­pe­ri­ences with bul­ly­ing, de­pres­sion and lone­li­ness. Even more im­por­tantly, they talk about how they learned to “reach out” and how through friend­ship and com­mu­nity sup­port, they have come through the dark­est of days to lead lives that are filled with love and hope.

16-year-old Kane said the four friends were in­spired to make the video be­cause “youth sui­cides are very high in our re­gion and we want to stop it”.

“We needed to do some­thing to help youth and some­thing that would ap­peal to young peo­ple,” he said.

Like­wise Keisha had this mes­sage to any other young peo­ple in the com­mu­nity who might be feel­ing, as she once did, that there was “no point”.

“From a group of young peo­ple who’ve been in the po­si­tion you’re in, we say, ‘hold on’.

“No-one can help you un­less you help your­self [but] if you reach out and say ‘yes, I want help’ there will be at least four peo­ple will­ing and want­ing to help and sup­port you,” she said.

The four friends rec­om­mended the Whit­sun­day Cri­sis and Coun­selling Ser­vice, Whit­sun­day Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre, Proser­pine Com­mu­nity Cen­tre and Proser­pine Youth Space as sup­port­ive and safe places for young peo­ple in need. The contact num­bers for each of these or­gan­i­sa­tions are in­cluded at the end of the video clip.

The video is just over seven min­utes long and was pub­lished to YouTube on De­cem­ber 2.

TAK­ING A STAND: Proser­pine teenagers Keisha McEwan, Kane Tay­lor, Jar­rah Kennedy and Tas­man Des­mond have pro­duced a You Tube video reach­ing out to young peo­ple who have been bul­lied or are at risk of sui­cide.

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