The Youth Assembly arm of the Youth Services Unit is on a mission to find out what are the issues impacting Cayman’s youths and how can we fix them. They have set an ultimate goal to not only bringing awareness to these issues, but proposing policy changes to resolve them. Cayman 27’s Philipp Richter explains.
Calling one, calling all, Cayman’s youth assembly wants young people to highlight what they think is an issue that is affecting their age group, from sex and relationships to drug use and anxiety.
“Too many young people are missing out on great opportunities because they’re not ready for them and it’s hard to prepare them when they’re not capable of being prepared,” said Acting Head of the Youth Services Unit Jason Myles.
The assembly, which falls under the Youth Services Unit, has launched a national survey to find out what the issues are and Mr. Myles said the information collected will be used for public forums and to structure social programmes.
“And then they can be taking notes and form their own position paper on it and present it to the Minister of Youth,” said Mr. Myles.
He said he expects drug use to be one of the issues flagged. In fact, earlier this year the National Drug Council’s student drug survey, found student drug use in years 9-12 is on the increase
According to the report 86% of students had used alcohol in their lifetime, making alcohol the number one drug of choice for teens.
The report also stated 43% of students admitted using marijuana in their lifetime, while 5% indicated daily use. Mr. Myles said marijuana use among teens is his main concern.
“If we have an early onset of them using marijuana and it’s stunting their brain development then it’s hard for them to make decisions over that age,” said Mr. Myles.
The NDC report also pointed out half of the students in years 9-12 felt there was minimal to no risks associated with using marijuana once or twice, but they do believe there is a risk with smoking regularly, an issue Mr. Myles addresses.
“It’s hard getting across to some people that they tell me straight up, sir I’ve been burning from time I was 8, I was burning from the time I was 9 and I’m like, you still behave in this way at that age,” said Mr. Myles.
Mr. Myles said he hopes the results from the survey will highlight what needs his unit can address, to ensure a positive future for the youth.
“It’s very important that young people see their value and worth of how they contribute to our society and the sooner they see it the more worth and the value they have,” said Mr. Myles.
Click here to partake in the survey – http://www.strawpoll.me/14416802