Oct: SE Drugs & Alcohol – Connectors and Responders Training

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South Eastern Drug and Alcohol Coordination Team Connections Service:

Currently we are promoting and recruiting for a new community based “Connectors and Responders” initiative and would welcome your input if there is anyone you feel may be willing to be trained and operate as a “Responder” in your area.

Responders will be people living or working within a community who will be trained to have effective conversations with individuals seeking help about their alcohol or other drug use and to signpost them to the most appropriate services. We hope that they will be drawn from a range of backgrounds, perhaps working in job centres, taxi firms, credit unions or anywhere else that has a front facing role, or those involved in community or church groups, political parties, sports clubs, foodbanks etc.

Responders will undergo a comprehensive two day training programme in basic alcohol and drug awareness, how to have effective conversations using the evidence-based Brief Intervention (FRAMES) model and how to use the online Responder toolkit with a follow up assessment. It should be emphasised that the main role of Responders is signposting. Any assessments will be carried out by the appropriate specialised services. Responders will encourage individuals to contact other services themselves and self-refer.

Responders will be supported by their local Drug and Alcohol Coordination Team (DACT) Connections service based in each Trust area. Responders will have access to a website designed to guide them through any interactions they may have and aid them in identifying further options and signposting for the individual concerned.

We are all aware of the negative impact alcohol and other drugs can have on individuals, families and the wider community. People are often unsure how to access the right support. The Drug and Alcohol Connections service can support key members of the community to signpost people to the right service or help them to access further information and advice through the Responder initiative.

As well as the two day’s compulsory training, Responders will be asked to attend an assessment centre lasting around an hour that will allow them to demonstrate the new skills they will have developed.  They can choose from the following training days:

  • 4th and 5th October  (Belfast or Lisburn)          Assessment- 16th October
  • 11th and 12th October (Cookstown)   Assessment- 26th October
  • 8th and 9th November (Lurgan)       Assessment- 21st Nov

There are only 15 places available for the South Eastern Trust area this time (we will be running this again next year) and there will be an application form that anyone who is interested will be asked to submit. This is a very new and innovative approach and there will be no cost to participants since it is funded by the Public Health Agency.

If you need any more information or have someone who may be interested in becoming a Responder please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Marty McCann

SEDACT Connections Worker

23 Bridge Street, Lisburn, BT28 1XZ

0800 2545 123

07545 928 221