'Risky behaviour' has many consequences particularly on health and well-being and impacts on all concerned whether they be the person(s) directly involved, family or community, friends, service providers, victims or bystanders. Risky behaviour impacts on all ages. The rate of misusing substances increases with age. Substance misuse among adults, in particular alcohol problems, can have their roots in exposure at a young age. Adolescents are naturally risk takers as part of growing up, but some of these risky behaviours can lead to immediate and long term harms. A review of recent surveys undertaken with young people locally as part of the Sexual Health Needs Assessment 2012 highlighted alcohol as a major factor both in making spontaneous decisions to engage in sexual behaviour and in having unprotected sex. The rates of teenage pregnancy continue to be above the Welsh average, and sexually transmitted infections have increased as a rule across the UK. There is evidence to suggest that young people are engaging in ‘risky behaviour’, and this includes using contraception inconsistently.
- 18% of young people aged between 11-15 years old in Cwm Taf, reported drinking one or more alcoholic drinks at least weekly compared to Welsh average of 16%.
- All Wales data from the Health Behaviour in School Agesd Children indicate that 28% of boys and 38% of girls aged 15 years in Wales reported having had sexual intercourse.
- Young people are a risk group for acquiring an STI. Research shows that young people are more likely to use barrier contraception inconsistently and to become re-infected after being diagnosed with and treated for an initial STI. (Rhondda Cynon Taf Single Integrated Plan, 'Understanding What Matters')
- The project is being delivered with individuals living in areas of multiple deprivation.
- Young people engaging in risky ‘sexual’ behaviour.
- Individuals living with mental health conditions who participate in substance use.
- Age connect – individuals engaging or experiencing risky behaviour aged over 50+.
Methods and Outcomes
Over the next three years, as part of a ‘Community Voice consortium’, Spectacle Theatre will work in partnership with the Rhondda Fach Communities First cluster, to raise awareness of and reduce the instances of ‘risky behaviour’ on the most vulnerable members of the community.
- Young people who have been involved with multiple agencies (Police, Criminal Justice System, On-Track) for multiple reasons. (Risky sexual behaviour, substance user).
- Older people (50+) involved in Risky behaviour (sex, substance use) because of the impact of isolation.