FORMER PRISONER HEADLINES YOUTH FORUM
 
 
 (ARAB NEWS - SYDENY  ) Where will your choices take you? That’s the question local youth will be asked at the My Life, My Choice forum, on Wednesday 23 May at Bankstown Sports Club.
 
Mayor Khal Asfour said more than 100 students, representing eight local high schools, will take part in what will be the second annual interactive drug, alcohol and mental health forum.
 
“The forum provides the students with a platform to discuss the effects of risky behaviour and how to look out for their mates,” Mayor Asfour said.
 
“It’s designed to be fun, interactive and informative, with students being asked to act out a series of role playing scenarios and using their smartphone devices to complete activities.”
 
The students will also hear from a former prisoner, now justice system activist, Keenan Mundine who, at just 14, found himself in juvenile detention for burglary offences and began a downward cycle of crime and jail.
 
“My poor decisions led me to drug addiction; substance abuse; disconnect from my family; disengagement from education and sport; and homelessness,” Mr Mundine said.
 
“I spent half my life in and out of jail and my criminal record affected my employment opportunities.”
 
Mr Mundine hopes others will learn from his mistakes.
 
“If you are faced with a difficult situation, you do have a choice in life,” he said.
 
“I have learnt that all the choices I make have an impact on others, even though they are my choices. I have also learnt to think before I act and that everybody has their own struggles in life.
 
“You can make good choices by being fully informed and having the right information and speak to people you can trust.”
 
Other presentations will be given by AlcoCups, Headway ADP, Headspace and NSW Ambulance and cover:
 
·         The harms and risks of alcohol and drugs;
 
·         Binge drinking, standard drink sizes and spiking;
 
·         Intoxication and overdosing;
 
·         Impacts of social media on mental health;
 
·         Triggers for mental health and symptoms to look for;
 
·         Practical tips for positively managing mental health; and
 
·         Mental health stigma and misconceptions.
 
For more information on the My Life, My Choice forum, visit cb.city/mylifemychoice