THIS is a very lonely time of the year for some young people. It can increase feelings of sadness and social isolation amongst disaffected youth who lack a sense of belonging.
Most often, these young people will turn to alcohol and other drugs to minimise the negative feelings.
Substance abuse has a big impact on the user, their families and society.
It is responsible for increasing homelessness, mental illness, family breakdowns and thoughts of suicide or self-harm amongst young people.
We try to make contact with these young people through our Street Walk program in the hopes of providing them with a safe place to stay.
As a community we need to come together to combat these issues and ensure that young people are provided with adequate support.
Together, we can help create a sense of belonging for these young people and help turn their lives around.
FR CHRIS RILEY,
Youth Off The Streets.