Former bully shares his story at first Youth Hello Doctor event in Parramatta

Multicultural Health team leader Dipti Zachariah, youth program office Daniel Apat and manager Monika Latanik with Dr Melissa Kang and Arthur Phillip High School deputy principal Peter Murkins.

A reformed bully recently shared his powerful story with hundreds of teenagers for the first Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Youth Hello Doctor event.

The renowned GP behind the famous Dolly Doctor column, Dr Melissa Kang, and law student James Tran were keynote speakers for the tailored event that reached 200 Year 10 students at Arthur Phillip High School.

James spoke about his experience being bullied and becoming a bully, struggling with substance abuse, and how he turned his life around. He encouraged the students to become active builders of a good society.

Other topics covered on the day included mental health and sexual health, with plenty of games and activities including the Afro-Brazilian martial art capoeira.

James Tran addresses the teenagers.

The program saw Youth Health team up with Multicultural Health, which has been successfully running the Hello Doctor events for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities across the district for several years.

All told more than a dozen WSLHD health programs, affiliated health services and non-health services contributed to the event.

Multicultural Health program officer Daniel Apat helped organise the event based on his work supporting young migrants to settle in Australia.

“Taking care of my own health was part of my own settlement journey. To teach young people how they can take care of their health is crucial for not only their well-being but that of society as a whole,” Daniel said.

“I do what I can to empower young people to overcome barriers to their health, such as the stigma and shame associated with discussing mental health with their friends and family.”

The theme of the day was ‘Young People’s Health Matters’ and focused on increasing students’ knowledge about health issues and the health system through short workshops and talks.

The majority of the students were from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, reflecting the multicultural diversity of Parramatta.

Dr Kang spoke about how important it is for young people to focus on their health and reach out for help from doctors, counsellors and teachers when need be.

Multicultural Health thanked Arthur Phillip High School and all the partners for making the special youth-targeted event a reality.

For more information about the Youth Hello Doctor event, or if you have any questions about working with young people from CALD backgrounds within WSLHD, please don’t hesitate to contact Daniel: daniel.apat@health.nsw.gov.au.

To join the Consumer Engagement Network List and find out about upcoming opportunities and events or for more information about WSLHD Youth Council please contact Project Officer, Youth Transition Care and WSLHD Youth Council facilitator Sharlene Narayan on 0437 425 249  or sharlene.narayan@health.nsw.gov.au.