Award for education program

Posted on: Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Turning Point’s  MAKINGtheLINK program has been recognised at the 2017 National Alcohol and other Drugs Excellence and Innovation Awards. The school-based program, received the prestigious Prevention and Education Award.
Adolescence is recognised as a high-risk time for mental health and substance use issues. However, there are many barriers to adolescents seeking help and young people often turn to their peers who do not feel confident in helping their friend get the right support.
MAKINGtheLINK seeks to address this gap. It is a school-based intervention program that focuses on teaching students practical skills in how to overcome barriers associated with seeking help, as well as how to effectively support their peers.
The program has been proven to work by:

  • Teaching young people about risky behaviour and its impact on relationships
  • Demonstrating how young people can help each other recognize mental health and alcohol and drug issues early and facilitate professional help-seeking
  • Reducing the barriers preventing young people from seeking help
  • Explaining what kind of helpers there are and how they can help.
This evidence-based program comprises a teacher manual, seven interactive and engaging discussion-based activities for secondary school students, animations on the developing brain, and vodcasts modelling how to assist a friend to seek help. It has been successfully delivered in public, Catholic, private and independent high schools across Victoria to thousands of students.

Turning Point Executive Clinical Director Prof Dan Lubman congratulated the team on receiving the award.

“This is due recognition for the outstanding work the team have done. Their innovative work has made a practical, positive difference to the students who have received the intervention. 
“I’d like to congratulate everyone involved with MAKINGtheLINK for their dedication and commitment, including the schools and principals who passionately embraced the program.”
Research Officer Emma Sandral and Program Director Anthony Denham accepted the award at a ceremony held in Canberra on June 16.
Mr Denham said it was great recognition for the team who have helped establish, refine and  grow the program over the last 6 years.  

“Special thanks go to key contributors such as Bonnie Wells, Fiona Blee, Emma Sandral, Ali Cheetham, Naomi Crafti and the rest of the project team that has worked with Dan Lubman.

“Together, they have ensured the program retained its research integrity whilst being practical and useable within a school setting and a very packed curriculum.”

The National Alcohol and other Drugs Excellence and Innovation Awards acknowledge the work of Australians working in the alcohol and other drugs (AOD) sector. The awards are supported by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) and the Australian Government.

Pictured accepting the award are Turning Point's Anthony Denham and Emma Sandral (centre) with Dr Lisa Studdert from the Department of Health.