ReCord: ReGen’s December 2015 eUpdate
This issue: Updates on our services, resources, consumer participation, advocacy and other news.

UnitingCare ReGen

Welcome to the ReCord - ReGen's regular eUpdate

The approach of the festive season provides an opportunity to reflect on what has been another busy and challenging year for ReGen and the AOD sector as a whole. Methamphetamine use has been grabbing most of the headlines, but we’ve also seen attention to new psychoactives, the role of alcohol in family violence and the apparent return of heroin use. There have been significant changes at a state and federal level, with the implementation (and review) of the Victorian AOD reforms and the Federal Govt’s response to the National Ice Taskforce report along with major global shifts in policy particularly in relation to cannabis and broader drug law reform.
As well as the many challenges of providing our services in an ever changing environment, we’ve also been able to celebrate some of our successes.  Highlights include: winning a Victorian Public Healthcare Award for our work on developing an agency-wide model for methamphetamine treatment, Rose McCrohan’s recognition at the recent APSAD awards and commencing construction of Victoria’s first Mother and Baby withdrawal service.
For a broader review of our achievements (and challenges), see our digital 2014/15 annual report.  We’d love to hear your feedback on the new format.
Lastly, I would like to wish you all a happy and safe Christmas.  We all know that it can be a difficult time for many.  If someone you care about needs support over the festive season, our services will still be operating (1800 700 514).

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

South East Catalyst program
We have just completed the first episode of our new Catalyst program in Narre Warren: one of nine new non-residential rehabilitation programs funded across Victoria.  With a very tight timeline to get the program up and running, we are very pleased to have had the program space ready for the first group and to welcome local MP Judith Graley to launch the new service (see our Facebook page for photos).  Our six years’ experience in developing, delivering and reviewing the program have enabled us to ensure that this first group has functioned just like any of our other Catalyst or Torque programs.  The next programs will be commencing on Jan 11 (North West Catlyst), Jan 25 (Torque) & Feb 1 (South East Catalyst). See our website for more details about the programs.
We’re continuing to support providers of the other new services in the development and implementation of their own programs.  Training on the delivery of therapeutic day programs is still available.
Peer support group
Our peer support group (delivered in partnership with SHARC) is now picking up momentum with our Peer Leads hitting their straps and good attendance by people with a wide range of experiences of treatment and recovery.  Following the Christmas break, the group will recommence on Jan 14.  See our website for details.
Synthetic cannabis treatment
We’re currently undertaking a clinical audit of the experiences of people undertaking synthetic cannabis withdrawal within our residential withdrawal services.  As was the case with our initial work on developing a targeted model for methamphetamine treatment, this audit process will provide us with a starting point for assessing the particular treatment needs for this group. We will release our findings next year.
Family methamphetamine first aid program
Thanks to funding from the John T Reid Charitable Trusts, we will be working with treatment services in Tasmania to deliver our Family Methamphetamine First Aid program for family members affected by a loved one’s methamphetamine use.  We are very grateful for the tremendous contributions from the family members and ReGen consumers who helped us develop and pilot this program. The first program for 2016 will be on Jan 13, with other dates to be confirmed in the new year.  Turning Point, SHARC and the Bouverie Centre’s Breakthrough program is also running in multiple locations.
‘Mother and Baby’ withdrawal update
Construction works on the Mother and Baby unit have now commenced at our adult residential withdrawal service in Ivanhoe.  Updates for people planning to undertake withdrawal and for referring services are available on our website.  We’ll be providing regular progress updates (including potential disruptions to our services at Curran Place) up until the commencement of the new service in late 2016.
Victorian AOD treatment reforms
Following the release of the Aspex Consulting report of the reforms to Victorian Mental Health Community Support Services and AOD Treatment Services, Minister Foley has indicated that there will be changes to the current treatment system.  While we have concerns about some of the report’s content and findings, we recognise the need for ongoing improvements to improve the accessibility and co-ordination of treatment services. 
We’re still waiting to see the detail of any proposed changes but, in the meantime, will be working to increase community awareness of the new treatment services in the North and West Metro Region.  We have received a small amount of funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to develop communications resources to help inform our communities about what services are available and how to access them.  We’ll be circulating these resources to consumers, service providers and community members early next year.
We’ve had a range of staff attending and presenting our work at key AOD conferences in recent months, including APSAD, Tackling Methamphetamine, ACSO, DANA – many faces of addiction forum, Australian Youth AOD Conference and Improving Reintegration from Prison into the Community.
You can see some of our conference presentations on our SlideShare page.

Read more about our services

ReGen Resources

Looking for some last-minute stocking fillers (or just have a good eye for a bargain)?
We offering some great value resource bundles for use by organisations or parents.
Dual diagnosis bundle
Save over 50% on our Dual Diagnosis bundle: $10 resource bundle
A collection of our classic and new resources. Save 50% on our regular prices.

Check out ReGen's Online Shop

Consumer participation

Snapshot client satisfaction survey
In addition to our usual client feedback form, we’ve been collecting a snapshot of the experiences of people who use our services. Over the past month, some of our Consumer Consultants have been collecting feedback on the accessibility, appropriateness and effectiveness of the services delivered together with Odyssey House Victoria and our other North and West Metro AOD Service partners.  Thanks to all who have undertaken the surveys and provided feedback on our services.  We’ll be publishing the results of the survey in the new year.
Consumer advocacy
Sarah (one of our Consumer Consultants) shared her story of methamphetamine dependence, treatment, recovery and parenting as part of an extended piece on our work developing targeted treatment responses in Crosslight, the Uniting Church newspaper. Providing safe opportunities for people who use our services to engage in public advocacy is an ongoing challenge for us, but this exercise provided a positive example of respectful engagement and use of agreed content in final publication. A huge thanks to Sarah for her participation and to Crosslight for their approach.
Thanks too to Con (another of our Consumer Consultants) who presented at VAADA’s recent CALD AOD forum. He provided important insights into the experience of growing up as ‘other’ in Australia and its impact on people’s wellbeing and sense of identity.  He also highlighted the need to avoid labelling people (including the use of ‘CALD’ to categorise people) and the importance of respectful, person-centred practice by treatment providers to support culturally appropriate service delivery.
The latest edition of ReSpect (our Consumer Participation update) will be out soon. See our website for the latest report on how we’ve responded to consumers’ suggestions on how to improve our services.
Please subscribe to receive future editions of ReSpect.

Read more on Consumer Participation

Advocacy in action

Our response to the prospect of AIVL losing federal funding has been published on Croakey.
See our website for recent coverage of our work on development of targeted methamphetamine treatment models, the establishment of the South East Catalyst program and our award wins.
See too examples of recent consumer-led advocacy under Consumer Participation above.

View our collection of recent media articles

Working with us

ReGen is a great place to work. Check our annual report video of some of our staff saying why they like working with us.
See our employment page for details of upcoming positions 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 and media coverage we have curated on our page:

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 papers and supporting evidence can be a useful resource if you’re looking into a key AOD issue such as Harm Reduction, Opioid Replacement Therapy or Recovery Orientated Practice.
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