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Primary Health Network helping local Indigenous people reduce harm from AOD use

Date posted: 14 August 2017

Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN) are helping 25 local Aboriginal and Torres Islander people complete a Certificate IV in Drug and Alcohol, with the option of completing additional units to also obtain a Certificate IV in Mental Health.

'Like all Australians, Aboriginal people are at risk of health and social problems associated with alcohol and drug use. However, for Aboriginal people cultural differences can mean they face barriers in accessing culturally safe alcohol and drug services. We also know that Aboriginal people are under-represented in the health workforce,' said John Manton, Manager for Aboriginal Health at the HNECC PHN. 'For Aboriginal people health is not just their physical well-being, it is also the social, emotional and cultural wellbeing of the whole community in which they live. Therefore it is very important that if we are to close the gap in Aboriginal health we get more Aboriginal people working in the health field.'

'What we hope to achieve through this training program is to blend mainstream models of practice in the drug and alcohol field within the context of an Aboriginal worldview. Our aim is to empower Aboriginal people and demonstrate respect for their cultural beliefs, values and family systems,' said Mr Manton. 'A key way to engage Aboriginal people so they are comfortable and willing to seek support and treatment for their drug and alcohol problems is to have more Aboriginal people employed and working in drug and alcohol treatment services.'

Funding for this program is part of the Australian Government's contribution under the National Ice Action Strategy, and aims to demonstrate continued commitment to building safe and healthy communities by reducing the impact of drug and alcohol use to individuals, families and communities.

Source: Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network

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Last updated: 14 August 2017
 
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute