ReCord: ReGen's May 2013 Update.
This issue: Suicide prevention training, physical health needs of AOD clients pilot, breaking the cycle project, innovation seminar, feedback, quality accreditation.
UnitingCare ReGen
Innovation in Action Seminar 2013

Welcome to the ReCord - ReGen's regular eUpdate

2013 is set to be a pivotal year, not just for ReGen, but for the wider alcohol and other drug (AOD) and the PDRSS (community mental health) sectors. Both areas will be undergoing significant reforms, including the recommissioning of many services. As a result ReGen is engaged in a range of discussions about service partnerships in preparation for this process.

In spite of the major changes that are underway, it is essential for us to ensure that we maintain our focus on working with our clients, their families and the wider community to promote health and reduce alcohol and other drug related harm. In our response to the discussion paper on the future of the Victorian community services (including AOD) by Peter Shergold, we welcomed the focus on improving outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorians, but also had some significant concerns.

This ReCord includes: Free suicide prevention training; physical health needs of AOD clients pilot; Breaking the cycle project; Innovation Seminar feedback; Quality accreditation; recent advocacy; and a (brief) round up of the latest thinking in AOD from Australia and overseas

Laurence Alvis
CEO – UnitingCare ReGen


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2013 Innovation in Action Seminar
Update on our services

Free suicide prevention training for workers
In partnership with Wesley Mission Sydney, ReGen will be delivering the Wesley LifeForce suicide prevention program for frontline community workers (General Practitioners & Practice Nurses, General Practice Staff, Relationship Counsellors, Aged Care Nurses and Aged Care workers) in Victoria and Tasmania between April 2013 and June 2014. The project is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.
Click here for more information about this free training

Enhancing treatment online
As we continue to explore the opportunities to improve the effectiveness of our treatment services, we will be trialling the use of tablet devices to support our Non Residential Withdrawal service. Thanks to the support of a leading IT company through SHARE, ReGen will be providing people undertaking home-based withdrawal with iPads to allow increased frequency and quality of therapeutic contacts with program staff. The use of videoconferencing will allow staff to undertake more detailed physical health checks of people in various stages of withdrawal than would be otherwise be possible by phone.

Physical health research pilot
In an effort to build the evidence base for the impact of physical health concerns on the efficacy and sustainability of treatment programs, ReGen, in partnership with Banyule Community Health (BCH), will be undertaking a health screening project with participants in our Catalyst non-residential alcohol rehabilitation program. BCH will undertake the screener with people accessing the organisation’s AOD programs. Comparison of the data from the two services will aim to demonstrate the need for increased integration of physical health services within AOD treatment programs.

Support to Breaking the Cycle
The ‘Breaking the Cycle’ project will assist people with enduring mental health concerns who are, or at risk of, homelessness. In the northern region, the project will focus on the needs of Aboriginal community members. ReGen is working with NEAMI (project lead), Northern Area Mental Health Service and the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) on this important three-year project that has been funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.

Quality with flying colours
ReGen has again achieved quality accreditation from QICSA. The findings of the review team were a great testament to the high quality of work done by all ReGen staff and the value of our various services to the people who use them. All areas were met, whilst three were recognised as Exceeded and a further three Near Exceeded the standards. The exceeded standards were:
  1. Co-ordinating services and programs;
  2. Collaboration and strategic positioning;
  3. Community and professional capacity building.
We were the first Victorian AOD service to achieve QICSA quality accreditation in 2001. Over the years it has required a lot of work, but has also provided us with a useful framework for our ongoing efforts to improve our existing services and develop innovative responses to emerging needs. The full report from our latest review will be available on ReGen's website once we have received the final version from QICSA.

Suicide Prevention training

Innovation in Action Seminar

ReGen’s second Innovation in Action Seminar featured a keynote presentation by Dr Adam Winstock, giving a sneak preview of the Australian Global Drug Survey findings, prior to their front page publication in the Fairfax newspapers. Together with some great discussion on a range of key issues from leaders in the AOD and PDRSS sectors, the seminar featured a range of brief presentations by ReGen staff on consumer participation, family practice (in partnership with Family Drug Help at sharc) and how to enhance treatment services using web-based approaches.
If you missed it, check out the videos and slides of all presentations.

Conference presentations
ReGen staff have been out presenting the agency’s work and ideas at a conferences and AOD sector events across Australia:
The PowerPoint slides for all presentations are available online.

Innovation in action seminar videos

Working together
Consumer feedback

A summary of our consumer feedback data for July – December 2012 is now available. We’re very proud of what the data says about our accountability against the principles set out in our Client Charter, the quality of services we provide and (most importantly) their effectiveness in supporting people to achieve their goals.

We are very pleased to announce that former Association of Participating Service Users (APSU) Manager Regina Brindle has been appointed as our new Consumer Participation Facilitator and are looking forward to exploring new initiatives (including consumer-led research projects) as we continue to develop our systems for consumer participation.
If you would like to learn more about our approach, check out our consumer participation position statement and supporting evidence on the importance of consumer participation within the AOD sector.

See our consumer feedback

Advocacy in action

Having our say… with the media
ReGen continues to advocate for responsible and accurate media coverage of issues relating to drug and alcohol use. Recent media releases have focussed on the capacity of media coverage to help (or hinder) an informed public understanding of issues including AOD use by parents, the impacts of AOD use within our communities, prevalence of stigmatising language and inflammatory rhetoric about the dangers of discarded injecting equipment. It has been encouraging to see some of our advocacy prompting local action as far away as the UK.

See our website for what else we’ve had to say on a range of AOD issues. If there’s an issue or debate you think ReGen should contribute to, contact us through our social media accounts or

Taking a stand
In addition to our new position statement on consumer participation (see above), we have also published a positioning statement and supporting evidence on the importance of Family Inclusive Practice for AOD treatment providers. Our existing series of position statements and supporting evidence has recently been fully reviewed and updated.

Responding to community sector reform
You may be aware of a recent discussion paper on significant potential changes to the structure and funding of Victorian community services (including AOD services) developed by former Departmental Secretary for Prime Minister and Cabinet Peter Shergold: Towards a more effective and sustainable community services system. ReGen’s response to the consultation process for this discussion paper supported its focus on improving outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged Victorians, but drew attention to key concerns about service accessibility, quality and co-ordination in the context of sector reform.
Why not read our full submission to this important paper?

See more of our advocacy work

Working with us

ReGen is a great place to work. 

We’re inspired by the changes our clients are able to achieve in their own lives, so our staff are trying to make some of their own. Check out our Facebook page to get a feel for what our staff have been up to lately, including an eight-week bootcamp. Apart from the occasional soreness, we’re experiencing the physical and mental health benefits of more regular exercise and have now commenced our second eight-week program.

See our employment page for information about upcoming positions with our family and prison-based services.

Find out more about working at ReGen

Interesting links from Australia and around the world

The following are a selection of links to recent AOD research and media coverage we have curated on our page:
View our collection of recent media articles

Over to you

You can support our work by donating, supporting our advocacy on social media, or doing your own. Our new and updated position papers and supporting evidence can be a useful resource if you’re looking into a key AOD issue such as Harm Reduction or Recovery Oriented Practice.

Please let us know what you think about the 'ReCord' and feel free to forward this to anyone you think might be interested.

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