A brand new month has begun, and although it’s not as exciting as a new year, you can still see it as a second chance for you to take on your yet-to- be-accomplished resolutions and stick to them for more a week. If being healthier is your objective, Febfast might just be the driving force you need to motivate yourself throughout the month of February.
Febfast is a charity that raises funds to help disadvantaged young Australians, running a campaign every February that challenges you to give up alcohol or sugar for 28 days. By refraining from either of these two vices for the entire month, you can raise money for youth support programs across the country.
Substance abuse is one of the most common mental health disorders affecting young people in Australia. Approximately 13% of people aged 16-24 are estimated to have the disorder, with men being affected at higher rates than women. Alcohol was found to be the most commonly used and abused substance.
Despite the high prevalence, however, surveys have found that people affected by substance use disorder fail to recognise their problem and seek the necessary help to overcome it. Considering the number of adverse outcomes associated with the disorder, these findings are concerning.
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to physical injury from violence and road accidents, cause health problems such as liver and cardiovascular damage, cancer and obesity, and also increase the risk of mental illness. Not to mention the socioeconomic impacts, which include poor academic performance, lower employment rates and increased incarceration rates. Nothing good comes from substance abuse.
Getting involved in the Febfest campaign is easy. You first pick what you want to fast for the month, then you register at febfast.org.au and ask others to sponsor you. All the money you raise will directly contribute to get people the support they need, including help to rebuild family relationships, access medical care and connect with education or employment opportunities. One young person will get access to one hour of support for every $36 you raise. The target is $800k — that’s over 22,000 hours of support.
Considering it’s the shortest month of the year, taking on the challenge this month might be the smartest and most convenient move. Be part of the movement and do your body, your soul and your wallet a favour. Help those who need you.