HALF a million dollars has been provided to a new consortium of south-west drug and alcohol agencies to ensure people take the right path through new therapeutic counselling services.
The Right Path Consortium is the first of its type and comprises the Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre (WRAD), Glenelg Southern Grampians Drug Treatment Services and Colac Area Health.
It will involve clinicians based in Warrnambool, Portland and Colac, a psychologist and team leader based in Warrnambool and shared across the three services.
The lead agency in the consortium is WRAD and its director Geoff Soma said the state government funding provided a boost to local services.
“It is a good initiative in that it recognises that the level of complexity in the client group requires more intensive counselling and support to overcome alcohol and drug related problems,” he said.
Ruth Payne, from Colac Area Health’s alcohol and other drugs team, said the funding would help to address the area’s high rates of alcohol use and growing problems with methamphetamines.
“We will be able to be more flexible in how we work with families to address these problems,” she said.
The Colac clinician will work with referred clients and their families to develop co-ordinated care plans.
“One of the priorities of the program is to understand the impacts on families,” Ms Payne said. The $550,000 will fund the pilot project for a new community-based treatment program which creates five new positions.
The service will be available to people experiencing alcohol and other drug addiction problems and co-occuring mental health conditions as well as other complex issues affecting their lives.