Insight into school-based program

Posted on: Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A discussion on a new school-based early intervention program will be on the agenda this month.

Research informs us that young people are reluctant to seek professional help for substance use and mental health problems.

They tend to keep their problems to themselves or turn to their friends or parents for support - people who often don't know what to do.

Turning Point Education and Training Services is currently developing a school-based early intervention program called MAKINGtheLINK: Seeking Help for Risky Drinking*, funded by the Department of Health, Victoria.

The program will be discussed at this Wednesday’s Talking Point seminar, to be held at Eastern Health’s Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre.

The program aims to educate young people about the effects of alcohol on the adolescent brain, how to seek help, from whom, how to overcome barriers and assist friends to seek professional help. It is currently being trialled in three Victorian high schools and will be available for schools in late 2012.

An accompanying parent workshop, MAKINGtheLINK: Talking to Teens about Seeking Help*, is also being developed for the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre, to inform parents about adolescent help seeking behaviour and how to facilitate professional help seeking for young people with problematic substance use. It will be freely available in October 2011.

MAKINGtheLINK: Promoting Help Seeking in Schools for Problematic Substance Use was presented by Bonnie Berridge and Lisa McKay-Brown on Wednesday 26 October at Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre. The slides from the presentation are available for download here.

*Both programs are based on MAKINGtheLINK: Promoting Help Seeking for Cannabis Use and Mental Health, developed by Orygen Youth Health in 2009-2010 and freely available through NCPIC at http://ncpic.org.au/workforce/teachers/making-the-link/ (Berridge et al, 2011).