ReCord: ReGen’s March 2017 eUpdate
This issue: Updates on our services, resources, consumer participation, employment, advocacy and other news. 



UnitingCare ReGen

Welcome to the ReCord - ReGen's regular eUpdate

It has been another busy few months for all of us at ReGen.
In addition to providing our usual services, we are currently piloting an adapted Catalyst non-residential rehabilitation program for young people and have been an active supporter of the renewed campaign to establish a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Richmond.
We’re also (along with many other service providers around the country) very pleased with the Federal Government’s recent announcement to extend current service funding for two years. This is far from being a permanent solution to the ongoing uncertainty of Commonwealth service funding, but does provide some certainty for service providers and their staff.
We’re also pleased to have had some of our staff and consumers play a part in the recent VAADA conference.  It was a great opportunity to present aspects of our work and learn more about the terrific work being done across our sector.  If you missed the conference, or want to catch up on some of the presentations, you can see most of the presented slides on the VAADA website.
This ReCord includes: updates on our treatment and education services, AOD sector developments, resource promotions, consumer participation and advocacy updates, along with a (brief) round up of the latest resources and thinking in AOD from Australia and overseas.

Laurence Alvis
CEO – UnitingCare ReGen

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Update on our services


Youth Catalyst pilot program
The first group of our Youth Catalyst program pilot is currently underway.  Following an extensive review and consultation with young people, we have developed a program model that retains the core features we know work well with adults, but provides greater flexibility and a stronger focus on family supports. See our website for more information about the pilot and how to refer potential participants in the second episode commencing on April 17.
Intake & Assessment changes
The Department of Health and Human Services have announced changes to how people access treatment services from July 1.  The changes will mean that all funded services in each catchment will now be conducting assessments.  We will be working together with these services to help ensure that the quality and co-ordination of care for people seeking treatment is not affected.  For people using our services, there should be no observable change.
Overdose prevention
We are continuing to provide free naloxone (and training in how to use it) to people who use our services and family members.  With the recent confirmation that fentanyl has been involved in overdose deaths in Melbourne and detection of carfentanil by Queensland police, the need for increasing the distribution of naloxone to people most likely to encounter opioid overdoses has never been greater. Contact Ginny (our Overdose Prevention Project Officer) to find out more: / 03 9384 8887.
New Preston location
In order to improve the accessibility of our services for people in Melbourne’s north, we will soon be opening a new office 349 Bell St in Preston.  This site will be in addition to our Thomastown office.  We are currently fitting out the office and will start delivering services from there in early April.
Several of our staff and consumers presented at the recent VAADA conference on various aspects of our work, from our approach to Clinical Governance, service collaboration and Consumer Participation, to managing cannabis withdrawal, working with complex needs and mothers and babies. 
We also discussed our work on supporting safe social media practice and engaging in public advocacy.  This included helping to launch the new collaborative AOD Media Watch project.
The slides from all our presentations are available on our SlideShare page.  Our brief video summary of conference highlights is on our YouTube channel. You can see some of our photos from the conference on our Facebook page.


Relapse prevention cards
Our new Relapse Prevention Cards have been designed together with participants in ReGen’s Catalyst and Torque non-residential rehabilitation programs. They provide quick reminders about relapse prevention strategies in areas deemed most important by people who use ReGen services: Cravings/triggers/ high risk situations; Planning for emergencies; Anger & frustration; Anxiety & depression; Rebuilding relationships and Reaching out. The cards are matched to more detailed relapse prevention information on our website.
The cards are available individually or as a complete set (six cards).  See our online shop for pricing details.
Supporting safe social media practice
Developed together with people who use our services, this new resource is designed to provide practical strategies for consumers to get the most out of their use of social media and keep safe online.  Printed copies of the resource are available for people using our services.  It is also available for free download from our website.

Consumer Participation

People who use our services have continued to take on new and exciting roles across the organisation, supporting the planning, delivery and review of our services and contributing to our public advocacy.  Some examples include:
  • At the recent VAADA conference, Con and Gary presented on Safe Social Media Practice and the role of Consumer Consultants at ReGen.  Con also helped launch the new Safe Social Media Practice resource we have developed together with people who use our services. Thanks too to Marek who helped out on our display table to share information about our work to other conference delegates.
  • We published our new report on Consumer Participation at ReGen: The Reason Why We’re Here;
  • We have expanded the participation of Consumer Consultants in recruitment panels for new ReGen staff; &
  • We’ve delivered our latest round of First Aid training for people who use our services, as part of our Consumer Pathways project. See some photos from the training on our Facebook page.
See the November edition of ReSpect (our Consumer Participation update) for details of these and other recent consumer achievements and contributions.
Please subscribe to receive future editions of ReSpect, or see our latest report on how we’ve responded to consumers’ suggestions on how to improve our services. 

Read more on Consumer Participation
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Advocacy in action

We have played a part in the broad campaign to establish a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Richmond.  We were a signatory to an open letter calling on the Victorian Parliament to pass Fiona Patten’s MSIC bill, which has now been diverted to a committee (due to report back to Parliament in September). See our media release and resulting article supporting the bill.  Coinciding with the release of the Victorian Coroner’s report calling for the Andrews Govt to establish a pilot MSIC, the campaign has produced a notable shift in public debate on the issue, including a significant change of tone in Herald Sun coverage.  You can see Coroner Hawkins’ report (and our submission to the coronial inquiry into overdose deaths in the Richmond area) on our website.
In response to the escalating concerns about homelessness in Melbourne’s CBD, we published an opinion piece calling on local authorities to look beyond vilifying vulnerable and marginalised people if they are serious about developing sustainable responses to the growing crisis across the city.
We have supported the establishment of the collaborative AOD Media Watch project that brings together a great assembly of AOD experts to challenge and critique uninformed, misleading and stigmatising coverage of AOD issues.  The project’s aim is to improve the quality of AOD reporting and build a public discussion of AOD issues that is based on evidence, rather than opinions, myths and moral panic.  If you see some poor (or exemplary) reporting that deserves a response, you can alert the project or submit your own response for review and publication.  See the project website for details.

View our collection of recent media articles

Working with us

ReGen is a great place to work, and to make a difference.
We’re currently recruiting a Senior Education and Training Officer at our Coburg site.  See our employment page for details of upcoming positions, the results of our last Staff Satisfaction Survey, or more detail on working conditions at ReGen.  We’ll also be notifying our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn followers of new recruitment opportunities.

Find out more about working at ReGen

Interesting links

The following are a selection of links to recent AOD research, resources and media coverage we have curated on

See our page 

Over to you

You can support our work by donating, supporting our advocacy on social media, or doing your own.  Our position statements and supporting evidence can be a useful resource if you’re looking for information on AOD issue such as Harm Reduction, Medically Supervised Injecting Centres, Opioid Replacement Therapy or Recovery Orientated Practice.
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