A diverse approach to cutting alcohol and drug harm

  16 February 2017  NWMPHN   

Better access to alcohol and other drug services and more personalised support will soon be available in Melbourne’s west and north, thanks to $2.4m awarded by North Western Melbourne PHN to four innovative service partnerships across the region.

The new services will focus on meeting the needs of diverse and hard-to-reach groups, including young people in the outer western suburbs; young Muslim people and their families in Broadmeadows; Pacific Islander and African young people and their families in the outer western suburbs; and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) community in a variety of key locations.

North Western Melbourne PHN CEO Adj/Associate Professor Christopher Carter said the new services will mean more people will be able to get the help they need, delivered locally, in a way that is accessible and appropriate for them.

“With experienced drug and alcohol treatment providers working alongside trusted community organisations, these new partnerships will provide culturally appropriate, informed and welcoming care to people who might otherwise slip through the cracks.” A/Prof Carter said.

The method of selecting the services was as innovative as the services themselves, with strong sector-wide consultation and consumers and carers an integral part of the assessment and decision-making process.

New services include:

  • Muslim Youth and Families program: The program will provide culturally respectful early intervention and treatment programs to young people through the Multicultural Youth Centre in Broadmeadows.
  • Mobile health and access point (MhAP): The MhAP bus has a full clinical fit-out and disability access, and will be reaching out to young people at various locations in Werribee, Melton and Sunshine.
  • Q Health: Q Health will address the unique and complex issues faced by the LGBTIQ community to deliver an accessible, sensitive and integrated service that addresses the root causes of substance misuse.
  • Linking Youth and Family Together (LYFT): LYFT will deliver a youth friendly family therapeutic program in Bacchus Marsh, Melton and Werribee, focusing on people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

A/Prof Carter said that combined with youth psychosis treatment partnerships also announced today, these new services represent a shift towards a more person-centred model of primary care in north and west Melbourne.

“Providing services that are flexible, accessible and centred around the needs of each individual, means more people will be able to get the care they need, when and where they need it.”