Halloween: Celebrate Safe31 Oct 2016
In case you hadn’t noticed, from the fact that every shop is now stocking pumpkin EVERYTHING, Halloween is coming. We’re big into Halloween. It’s a good excuse to watch a scary film or two, eat copious amounts of sweet things and dress up like the living-dead and other pleasant characters doused in the appropriate amount of blood and gore. We’re thinking Eleven from Stranger Things could be on the cards for most overdone costume this year, that and Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad; mark our words! Whatever your age, plans or alter-ego of choice we urge you to take care of yourself this season.
In our Mental Health Awareness tour we teach young people between the ages of 14-16 about self-care, how to spot the signs of stress and how to cope with our stress triggers. Our Alcohol and Drug Awareness tour teaches young people about peer pressure, the dangers of substance misuse and the consequences of our choices. We teach p6-7 about Anti-Social Behaviour and who it affects, Fire Safety and how to prevent fires especially at home, Personal Safety and how to handle situations that make us uncomfortable. In the past year we’ve delivered enough tours to know that the young people retain the basics (if not, the whole tour), but knowing the right or safe thing to do doesn’t mean much if we don’t follow through by avoiding the risks.
To any parents reading, we ask that over half term and on Halloween night especially make an effort to know where your children are going, who they’ll be with and when they’ll be home. It’s not nice to be a nag, but it’s nicer to know where your children are than to wait up frantic with internal worry while trying to come across as the ‘laid back’ parent. Don’t supply young people under the age of 18 with alcohol. They may have been drinking with their friends for years but that doesn’t mean you should aid them along the risky path they’re already on.
To young people going out over half-term STAY with your friends. Let your parents know where you’ll be and try to understand that a parent wanting to know where you are isn’t an invasion of privacy but a safety measure if something were to happen. Costume themed parties are a good opportunity to meet new people but keep in mind that you have no way of deciphering a new person’s intentions. Take care of yourself and your friends by not accepting opened drinks from strangers, standing your ground if you feel pressured into doing something the crowd is doing and don’t do anything you know you shouldn’t. Most importantly, have a pre-arranged way of getting home. Getting into a car with someone who has consumed alcohol or is under the influence of drugs is NOT an option! Pre-arrange a lift with a parent or family member (someone you can trust). If you’re really stuck, arrange a group taxi as walking home in the dark, cold and probable rain will surely dampen any good times had.
Don’t let Halloween 2016 be a horror story and take care of yourself this half-term.