The Federation Community Drug Action Team (CDAT) hosted the first of two Think Tank workshops on Wednesday 7 July.
Aimed at local drug and alcohol service providers and community support networks, 13 different organisations and volunteers came together to collaborate, identifying:
- What is successfully being delivered within the Federation Council area to support the community in early interventions and addressing crisis situations,
- What areas can we build on to further improve what we already have,
- And what issues and challenges exist.
Federation Council Mayor, Cr Patrick Bourke said the Think Tank identified a passionate group of service providers and community volunteer networks that exist locally, who work hard to address community and resident needs in the early intervention space, as well as in crisis needs.
“There is opportunity to build on our great services and support networks, however there are numerous challenges at a professional and community level that need to be addressed to be truly effective across the community. These challenges sit within systemic, local, regional, state, and even Federal and societal levels,” he said.
Stigma was identified as a key issue around mental health and particularly when drugs and alcohol are involved. With this stigma comes a lack of willingness to talk about these issues, along with limited literacy, awareness and understanding. A person affected can be treated as dysfunctional, making it difficult to be appropriately supported within their communities.
Mayor Bourke also said, “Other issues include cross border challenges, unavailability of some services locally and often long wait lists, the need for a person centred approach (seeing the person not the problem), improved pathways and directions that are specific to an individual’s needs, short term funded projects and programs that do not provide sustainability, complex issues for those affected including lack of transport, and the effects of mental health issues and isolation.”
“Feedback from attendees has indicated that the Think Tank is providing a great opportunity to bring together passionate professionals and volunteers to collaborate and identify opportunities to be able to build on the great work we all do,” he said.
The second Think Tank workshop is scheduled, via zoom, on Wednesday 28 July from 1.00pm – 2.30pm. This workshop will focus to identify potential solutions that will influence impactful and positive sustainable change within service provision sectors throughout the Federation Council area and opportunities for ongoing collaboration between agencies currently active in this space.
Local drug and alcohol service providers and community support networks are invited to attend. Registrations to attend the Think Tank can be completed via the Federation Council website.
The Federation CDAT, through its collaboration efforts and initiatives, is aiming towards building a healthier and more resilient community through the prevention of and reducing the harms associated with drugs and alcohol.
The CDAT is funded through NSW Health and administered by Federation Council.