MAKINGtheLINK launch

Posted on: Monday, 15 October 2012

Turning Point is pleased to announce the launch of

MAKINGtheLINK: Seeking Help for Risky Drinking
presented by Bonnie Berridge & Lisa McKay-Brown

Wednesday 31st October 2012 1-2 pm 54 – 62 Gertrude St Fitzroy

The seminar is free, all welcome, bookings essential. 8413 8413 or

What is MAKINGtheLINK: Seeking Help for Risky Drinking?

MAKINGtheLINK: Seeking Help for Risky Drinking is a school-based health promotion program which teaches secondary school students how to seek help for problems related to alcohol use and risky drinking behaviour*. The program comprises a teacher manual, seven interactive and engaging discussion-based activities for secondary school students, an animation about the effects of alcohol on the developing brain and two vodcasts modelling how to assist a friend to seek help.

Why promote help-seeking for alcohol use and risky drinking?

Drinking alcohol can cause serious short- and long-term harm to young people. By seeking help early, they can receive the information, support and treatment they need to avoid risky drinking situations and prevent problems from becoming entrenched. However, research indicates young people are reluctant to seek professional help but keep their problems to themselves or turn to their friends, who often don’t know what to do or say.

Why aren’t young people seeking help?

Many young people don’t know when they have a problem or whether they should seek help. They might believe that they should sort out their problems on their own, or be too embarrassed to talk to someone. They may also be worried about the confidentiality of information they give a professional.

Young people need to believe that the benefits of seeking help outweigh the fears they have about seeking help from a professional. MAKINGtheLINK: Seeking Help for Risky Drinking promotes help-seeking by:

• Teaching young people how alcohol affects behaviour and the risks of drinking to their brains and relationships.
• Demonstrating how young people can help each other to seek professional help.
• Reducing the barriers preventing young people from seeking help from a professional.
• Explaining what kind of helpers there are and how they can help.

“It really educates people about alcohol and the effects and I think every student should know this. Knowing how to help someone is good because you never know what situation you could find yourself in”. Year 8 student.

Bonnie Berridge is a Senior Education and Training Officer at Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre. She is the program developer and project manager of the MAKINGtheLINK help seeking programs (see for the cannabis version of the program). Bonnie is a former school psychologist and teacher with extensive experience assisting schools to implement wellbeing programs and policies and providing professional development to teachers and school leadership staff. She is part way through a PhD investigating adolescent pathways to help seeking for substance use disorders.

Dr Lisa McKay-Brown is an acting leading teacher at Travancore School, a mental health focussed special education setting in Melbourne. Her role involves supporting students who are clients of the Royal Children’s Hospital Integrated Mental Health Program through collaborative work with mainstream school staff. Lisa has extensive experience working in education and health settings including working as a teacher and welfare worker in primary and secondary schools, lecturing in education at the University of Melbourne and working in the alcohol and other drug sector as an educator and clinician. Lisa has completed a PhD examining the implementation of violence prevention programs in schools.

* based on the original program developed by Orygen Youth Health for the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre

The seminar is free, all welcome, bookings essential. 8413 8413 or