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March 31, 2017

WORKER SELF CARE

We can't emphasise enough how important it is to take care of your physical and emotional health when working with young people in the alcohol and other drug sector. Youth and drug and alcohol work though rewarding a lot of the time can also cause anxiety and stress. Sometimes we don't see the positive outcomes we are hoping for and this can leave us feeling flat and emotionally drained. Over time this can lead to compassion fatigue and burnout. Our colleagues at Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS) in Victoria developed the Youth AOD Toolbox back in 2014 with a wide range of information and resources for youth AOD workers. The Toolbox has an excellent module on worker self-care which explains what self-care is, why it's important and how to prevent compassion fatigue. There is also a helpful list of guidelines to assist you in developing your own self-care plan.

 

Check out the module here

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March 31, 2017

UNDERSTANDING OTHERS' FEELINGS: WHAT IS EMPATHY AND WHY DO WE NEED IT?

The conversation has introduced a series on understanding others feelings and this piece by Pascal Molenberghs from Monash University looks at empathy. Showing empathy is important for workers when providing treatment and support to clients, it is an attribute that can help build a good therapeutic alliance, but what is empathy? This article called "Understanding others' feelings: what is empathy and why do we need it?" explains the different types of empathy and why we need it to help us understand how others are feeling. It also describes how our brain can be selective when it comes to showing empathy in different situations.


Read the article here.

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March 23, 2017

UNIVERSAL HARM REDUCTION (VIDEO)

See here for a short 5 minute video we made at the end of last year on some of the key principles of providing good harm reduction advice; as well as some examples of harm reduction advice in practice. Harm reduction is a key underlying principle of working with young people who use alcohol and other drugs. While there are a range of substance specific harm reduction practices, there are also a number of standard pieces of harm reduction advice that is relevant for any young person, regardless of the substance they might be using.

Watch "Universal harm reduction"

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March 23, 2017

PERSONALITY TARGETED PREVENTION TO REDUCE ALCOHOL USE AND HARM

Drug and Alcohol Research Connections recently published an article titled "Personality-targeted prevention to reduce alcohol use and related harms among 'high-risk' adolescents."  The article describes a research project that assessed the impact of a prevention program called "Preventure" which targets specific personality types associated with high risk substance use. This study followed 478 students with some receiving the "Preventure" intervention, while the control group received regular health education.  The study found that the high-risk students who received the "Preventure" intervention had reduced uptake of alcohol consumption and binge drinking, as well as reduced alcohol related harms.

Go to "Personality-targeted prevention to reduce alcohol use and related harms among 'high-risk' adolescents."

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March 23, 2017

NEW WEBSITE PROVIDES A REFERRAL DATABASE FOR LGBTIQ YOUNG PEOPLE

The RAD Australia website provides a referral database for LGBTIQ young people and workers to search for and review LGBTIQ friendly services in their local area. The RAD Australia website is an outcome of the You Learn From Each Other report, which researched the experiences and barriers of help seeking for LGBTIQ young people.

Read the "You Learn From Each other" report here.

Visit the RAD Australia website here.

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March 17, 2017

AYAHUASCA TOURISM IN SOUTH AMERICA

ABC's Foreign Correspondent recently featured an episode that focused on ayahuasca tourism in South America, and some of the risks faced by foreign tourists.  Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic tea that contains DMT.  It is traditionally used in South America by shamans who use it as a medicine. Ayahuasca has become popular amongst tourists, with ayahuasca retreats operating in several South American countries.  In 2015, a young New Zealander travelled to Peru to try ayahuasca.  Prior to using the ayahuasca, he was given a tea that contained tobacco as a part of a cleansing process, which led to his death. This Foreign Correspondent episode tells the story of ayahuasca tourism, and the reporter travels to Peru to the retreat where this young New Zealander died.

Go to "Foreign Correspondent: It doesn't happen to people like me"

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March 17, 2017

HEADSPACE SCHOOL SUPPORT

Headspace School Support is a suicide postvention program. The program has been developed to support Australian school communities to be prepared for, respond to and recover from the death of a student by suicide. There is a toolkit with a useful checklist for schools that provides a snapshot of the immediate and longer term tasks required for the successful management of this difficult situation. There is also a range of fact sheets with information around suicide attempts, responding to media, memorials and events and information for communities as these events have an emotional effect on the whole community not just the school community.

You can read more and download the toolkit and factsheets here

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March 17, 2017

ACT ON ALCOHOL: 2017 ANNUAL SURVEY OPEN NOW

Act on Alcohol is a program run by Lives Lived Well, which supports Queensland communities to address alcohol related harms.  Every year, Act on Alcohol conducts a survey to better understand the alcohol related issues faced by different communities.  This helps to identify local issues and prioritise responses.  The annual survey takes about 5 - 10 minutes to complete, and is open until 5pm Friday 31st of March, 2017.

To complete the survey click here.

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March 17, 2017

CHILD PROTECTION AUSTRALIA 2015 - 16

The annual Child Protection Australia report has been released for 2015-16 and includes information on state and territory child protection services, and characteristics of children receiving these services. The report contains some sobering statistics.  Nationally, 162 175 children and young people had an investigation, or were on some kind of child protection order.  In 2011 - 12 there were 7.6 children per 1000 on a child protection order, but by 2015-16 this number had risen to 9.6 children per 1000.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people continued to be over-represented in the child protection system, with seven times as many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people having contact with the child protection system compared with non-Indigenous children.

To find out more, go to "Child Protection Australian 2015 - 16"

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March 10, 2017

ALCOHOL LEADS TO MORE VIOLENCE THAN OTHER DRUGS, BUT YOU'D NEVER KNOW FROM THE HEADLINES

The Conversation has published an article written by Stephen Bright from Edith Cowan University and Martin Williams from Monash University called "Alcohol leads to more violence than other drugs, but you'd never know from the headlines". The article highlights the way mainstream media report stories about illicit drugs rather than alcohol as the media is more likely to link illegal drugs to violent crime when a significant percentage of these crimes are alcohol related. How the brain responds to alcohol and drugs is discussed and the authors also point out that media reporting shapes people's opinion and therefore illicit drug users are considered to be more violent and tend to experience further marginalisation.

Go to "Alcohol leads to more violence than other drugs, but you'd never know from the headlines"

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