Centre for Rural Social Research, Charles Sturt University
Place of publication
Wagga Wagga, N.S.W.
Young people's lives have been directly and indirectly affected by the dynamics of decline in rural Australia. In early 1999, the Casterton region experienced the suicides of two young people. These events led to the funding of a rural youth education and support program at the town's secondary college. The program adopts a multi-layered approach to reduce risk factors and strengthen the protective factors amongst students at the college through the enhancement of social connectedness, personal safety and freedom, and educational participation. The program provides interventions at the individual, school and community levels through case management, the delivery of group programs and opportunities for community participation. This approach recognises the importance of early intervention and a holistic approach to health and well-being in the student population. This paper provides an overview and preliminary evaluation of the program undertaken in 2002.