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Ōtepoti Whole School Approach Day - 2023

News 26 April 2023


On 15 March, Ōtepoti Dunedin hosted a Whole School Approach (WSA) Day.

The event saw participation from fifteen schools from Dunedin, North, South, and Central Otago, as well as nine alternative educators and other services. Schools and health services joined together to discuss the impact of alcohol, drugs, and trauma on young people and explored ways to better support them and their whānau.

 The 2023 WSA Day was specifically designed to facilitate networking among schools and other providers, providing a platform to share ideas, experiences, and successes.

Trinity Catholic College representatives, Liz Cameron and Ross Mackinnon, presented on the "Standard Drinks Workshop," a new initiative successfully trialled by the school in 2022. Developed by Tūturu and the NZ Police, the workshop aimed to educate students about standard drinks as a measure of alcohol content. This knowledge equips young people with information they need to make informed decisions about their alcohol consumption.

The workshop involved a series of activities for Year 12 and 13 students to prepare them for the school formal and their potential use of alcohol. Tūturu led the workshop, supported by Alcohol Harm Prevention Officer Sgt Steve Jones, a Mirror HQ AOD clinician, and school staff. Students poured standard drinks, sometimes with surprising results, asked questions, and received interactive harm minimisation information.

Liz and Ross shared their experiences of running the workshop, what they had learned, and how they planned to adapt it to best meet their students' needs for the upcoming formal. Staff from other schools expressed interest in establishing similar programmes at their schools to prepare students for not only their formals but also future decisions about alcohol consumption.

John McGlashan College representative Nigel Hunter presented on "Tūturu - Getting Started," sharing their school's journey in implementing Tūturu. Nigel began with a "Slido" activity to engage the audience in thinking about significant challenges teachers face and their confidence levels in managing these challenges. He then discussed the reasons behind the school seeking Tūturu and the progress made since then.

Paige Devlin and Sgt Steve Jones talked about "Red Light," an initiative launched by a group of Otago Polytechnic students as part of a health and wellbeing course. In venues participating in Red Light, patrons feeling unsafe can ask staff for a "red light" drink, prompting staff to offer assistance, such as arranging a ride home or contacting a friend or the police. Numerous bars and other hospitality venues have joined the Red Light initiative, and WSA attendees from other areas expressed interest in adopting the programme in their regions.

Following lunch, two workshops catered to the differing needs of the audience: "Identifying Points of Intervention" for Alternative Education Providers and "Teaching Effective Decision Making" for schools. The alternative education workshop provided tools for educators to use when addressing AOD-related incidents among young people. Meanwhile, the school workshop focused on an activity using a Tūturu cannabis resource as an example of classroom implementation.

Attendees provided feedback indicating that the content was relevant and thought-provoking. In particular, school presentations generated high interest, showcasing the potential for success when schools collaborate with Tūturu.

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