Subscribe to the Dovetail weekly digest & magazine

 
 

Required fields

 
 

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

Read More

 

March 3, 2017

SO YOUR SCHOOL HAS BEEN APPROACHED BY AN EXTERNAL ORGANISATION...

We posted this article back in 2016, but we think it's worth re-visiting.  There are an increasing number of external organisations offering alcohol and other drug prevention sessions for school students. While there are benefits in local services connecting with students in order to promote their service, we know that poorly designed AOD prevention programs can have unintended impacts, including increasing substance use and harm. It can be difficult for schools to know if the prevention programs offered by external agencies are evidence-based. To help with this, we came up with some suggestions to assist school-based workers in assessing whether an externally delivered program might be effective.


  1. Does the program comply with the "Principles of School Drug Education"?
  2. Has the program been evaluated and found to change behaviour - (not just "the students enjoyed it")?
  3. Has the program been developed, endorsed or supported by a university or a goverment department like Queensland Health or Education Queensland?

If you can answer "yes" to these questions, then the chances are you have found a quality program for your school.  If you answer "no" to these questions, the program might be inappropriate for schools and could have unintended outcomes for the students. If you're not sure, feel free to get in touch with Dovetail and we'd be happy to help you decide if the program is suitable for your school.

Read More

 

September 16, 2016

EX-ICE USERS LECTURING KIDS ISN'T THE ANSWER TO PREVENTING DRUG USE

Associate Professor Nicole Lee from the National Drug Research Institute and Nicola Newton from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre have published an article on The Conversation titled "Ex-ice users lecturing kid's isn't the answer to preventing drug use."  The article describes a program developed by the Australian Anti Ice Campaign based on the Montana Meth Project, which while well intentioned has been shown to increase positive perceptions of methamphetamine use. The authors describe what works in school drug education, based on decades of research. The authors also highlight the potential unintended consequences of poorly designed school drug prevention campaigns, which can include increases in substance use, risk and harm.

Go to "Ex-ice users lecturing kid's isn't the answer to preventing drug use"

Read More

 

June 24, 2016

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: ALCOHOL AND THE TEENAGE BRAIN

A few years back, Eastern Health and Turning Point developed a short animated video called "Under Construction: Alcohol and the teenage brain".  The video resource is aimed at young people in grades 7 - 10, and presents up-to-date information on the effects of alcohol on different parts of the brain, as well as impacts on behaviour.  The video is designed to be screened as a part of the alcohol and other drug curriculum within schools, alongside material that supports assertive decision making and help seeking.

Watch "Under Construction: Alcohol and the teenage brain"

Read More

 

June 10, 2016

Introducing Batyr

Batyr is an organisation that trains young people to speak about their personal experience with mental ill health.  They have a number of programs that will connect their trained presenters with schools and universities, so that young people with lived experience of mental ill health can deliver education in a fun, safe and engaging way.  The Batyr@School program offers 60 - 90 minute presentations for school communities, or half day and full day workshops designed for school students.  Batyr are offering their services to Queensland schools, so if you are interested, check out the Batyr website for more information.

Go to the Batyr website.

Read More

 

May 6, 2016

DRUG EDUCATION YET TO MATCH GREAT EXPECTATIONS

The UK-based Drug and Alcohol Findings website has published a review of recent school alcohol and other drug education programs.  The article, titled "Drug education yet to match great (preventive) expectations" describes the evaluation of the UK "Blueprint" school drug education program, and Europe's seven-nation "EU-Dap" program.  The "Blueprint" program utilised advanced interactive teaching methods combined with parental and community-wide components, yet at the end of the study period the program had achieved similar results to the control group of schools, who implemented their usual lessons.  The "EU-Dap" program used a social influence approach, but the results were modest and usually statistically insignificant when compared with control schools.


Go to "Drug education yet to match great (preventive) expectations"

Read More

 

January 28, 2016

ALCOHOL EDUCATION FOR AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS

The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) at Flinders University has recently undertaken a major systematic review of research on alcohol education programs in secondary schools. Many programs have been developed over the years but only a small number have been evaluated, and of these very few show evidence of effectiveness. Out of a total of 39 programs reviewed, only 3 were found to have good evidence of effectiveness.

Read more here

Read More

 

November 4, 2015

"WE DON'T GET TAUGHT ENOUGH" AN ASSESSMENT OF DRUG EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS IN ENGLAND

The findings from Mentor's recent work on school-based alcohol and drug education have been published by the peer-reviewed international journal, Drugs and Alcohol Today. The paper presents findings from the London Youth Involvement Project and the Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service (ADEPIS). This research provides an insight in to the current provision of drug education in schools with implications for national policy and practice.

Read more about the paper here

Read More

 

September 11, 2015

SCHOOL-BASED ALCOHOL HARM REDUCTION PROGRAM REDUCES ALCOHOL USE

The UK-based "Findings" website has published an overview and commentary of a paper published in 2014 in the Journal of Adolescence, which evaluated the Australian "School Health and Alcohol Harm Reduction Project (SHAHRP)" as it was trialled in Northern Ireland.  Similar to the results seen in the Australian trial, the authors of the study found that SHAHRP had a  positive effect on knowledge and attitudes about alcohol, with reductions in alcohol consumption in those young people considered most at risk: those who had already consumed alcohol without adults present.  The effect was strongest and most persistent in classes that were delivered by the school's' usual teachers, rather than external educators.

Read more about this study at Drug and Alcohol Findings.

Find out more information about SHAHRP here.

Read More

 

May 15, 2015

WHAT CAN PARENTS AND SCHOOLS DO TO PREVENT AOD HARMS?

The Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use at the UNSW is hosting a free webinar on Tuesday 19th of May at 2pm AEST on the topic of "Drug and alcohol use among young people: What can parents and schools do to prevent the harms?"  Dr Nicola Newton and Dr Lexine Stapinski will present the latest research on substance use in young people and it will provide an overview of the research evidence into the effective interventions.  they will also provide access to tools and resources that have been shown to be effective at reducing harm.

Click here to register for this webinar or to find out more information.

Read More