APPLECROSS university student Emily Bell has always been passionate about giving back to the community.
The UWA science student, who is studying Population Health and Physiology, recently completed a three-month UWA McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship with Mission Australia.
She worked on two evaluation reports for Mission Australia’s Drug and Alcohol Youth Service (DAYS) to identify gaps in the treatment or service facilities currently available to young people in the South-West region of WA as well as the Pilbara.
Miss Bell said the internship had significantly broadened her understanding about the circumstances of youth who are affected by drugs and alcohol.
“We tend to only hear about the consequences of drug and alcohol issues in young people and don’t realise how easily an individual can slip into a drug and alcohol addiction,” she said.
“DAYS does such amazing work, not only through providing young people with counselling and legal support but also friendships and the chance to positively engage with society; bringing the community back together.”
Mission Australia will use these reports to advocate for increased funding for young people experiencing alcohol or drug related issues and specifically on where service improvements could be made in the regions.
The reports have also been sent to the Mental Health Commission, WA Primary Health Alliance and the Department of Health.
The McCusker Centre for Citizenship offers students the opportunity to contribute to social solutions as part of their degrees, through structured internships with not for profit, community and government organisations locally, regionally and globally.