Just talk about it

Tasha Lawton

By Margaret Maccoll

If you’re finding it difficult to talk to your kids about uncomfortable subjects like sex, drugs or suicide Noosa’s Tasha Lawton has made it easy by creating a series of videos for parents and teachers that are informative and relate to young people in ways they understand.

With a background in filmmaking Tasha’s Talk Revolution project began when she made a documentary about menstruation that explored the different ways a woman’s period is viewed in different cultures. When she realised there was no clear and concise information in schools on menstruation Tasha partnered with a health and physical (HP) education teacher to create a program titled Period Talk. The program uses video featuring students talking to students and HP-curriculum teacher notes that work together to deliver the information to young people.

“Teachers can struggle with these kinds of uncomfortable topics,“ she said.

“They’re under time pressure.“

Period Time is now being used by 70 schools across the country.

In the past year Tasha has worked with five HP teachers to create seven programs covering other uncomfortable topics – Sex Talk, Drug Talk, Alcohol Talk, Sexuality Talk, Suicide and Self Care, Eating Disorders and Gender-based violence.

Tasha said the program information in each covers 85 per cent of the HP curriculum and is geared toward students from Years 5-10. The talk programs are also available for use by parents.

The videos have been developed in line with contemporary student communication focused on mobile phones, FaceTime and laptops.

“They’re so used to seeing each other on technology,“ she said.

Tasha hopes the programs will enable conversations on these uncomfortable issues, help young people deal with challenges and result in them making better decisions.The mother of teenagers wished there had been more conversations when she was a youth to assist her to deal with issues including the death of her brother by suicide at the age of 19 and help her make better decisions.Tasha hopes the programs will be adopted across schools and used by parents.

For more information on Talk Revolution visit talkrevolution.com.au