13 November 2023

School leavers – let’s talk about sex

WA Health is encouraging parents to talk with their teens about sex and relationships in the lead up to Leavers Week which this year runs from 19-25 November.

The annual State Government run Leavers event at Dunsborough aims to provide 2023 Year 12 students with an opportunity to safely celebrate the end of school with their friends.

WA Health’s Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Program Manager, Lisa Bastian said conversations leading up to Leavers could help young people feel prepared and less likely to engage in spontaneous risky sexual behaviours.

“It’s important to talk about informed decision making and how this might be impacted when celebrating, especially when alcohol and other drugs may be involved,” she said.

“Parents hope their children will come to them with questions, but research tells us teens are often waiting for parents to make the first step.”

Ms Bastian said it was not about one big talk that had to be perfect.

“It’s lots of conversations – little and often – to show that your child can come to you for advice and support and to help empower them to make informed decisions about their health.

“We need to be talking to our teens about respect, consent, contraception, sexually transmissible infections, condoms and where to go if they need help.

The Department’s Talk Soon Talk Often resource (external site) offers parents practical tips around talking to their teens.

This year WA Health has produced a distinctive hot pink condom branded “wrap it up” for Leavers 2023.

The free condoms will be available at the Leavers medical zone which this year will be run by the WA Country Health Service.

School leavers can find more information about free condoms, STI testing, COVID-19 and prevention of mosquito borne Ross River virus at the Leavers 2023 website (external site).


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