Family Units – unique to Queensland

Logan House Family Units

Construction of Family Recovery Units at Logan House is on track, with the units expected to open in January 2019.

Built on the site of our longstanding adult residential services at Logan House, the new units mean that parents will be able to stay in this purpose-built accommodation with their young children.  In addition to alcohol and drug counselling and group work, they will be supported in enhancing their parenting skills and life skills such as healthy eating and nutrition.

The Commonwealth Government through the National Stronger Regions Fund awarded $986,000 towards building the units, while Lives Lived Well has contributed more than $1 million towards the project.

Lives Lived Well’s Logan House is in a peaceful, rural area in Chambers Flat, south of Brisbane.

NewAccess – a new service in the Darling Downs

NewAccess Woman

NewAccess, a free, low intensity mental health support program, developed by beyondblue, is now being delivered by Lives Lived Well at Warwick, Gatton, Dalby and Kingaroy, as well as over the phone to surrounding areas.

The six-week program delivered by trained coaches is designed to help people with mild to moderate depression, stress and anxiety, including everyday challenges in their work or personal life.

It was launched in the Darling Downs on 6 August and is funded by the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN under the Australian Government’s PHN program.

“When you’re sad and struggling you don’t think clearly and you stop talking to people. But talking to someone makes you feel a little bit better. And it helps you move forward and not struggle so much.”

This is how Jenny* described her recent experience of NewAccess.

Jenny met a NewAccess coach at Lives Lived Well after experiencing overwhelming loss over a short period. Her loss began with the death of her husband of more than 30 years, and over the next month, she lost other close family members before finally, the week before she reached out to NewAccess, her best friend lost her battle with cancer.

At first, Jenny’s coach wondered if the program would be able to support someone going through such extensive loss but after the initial session Jenny told her that she was the first person she’d felt comfortable with, and she wanted to come back.

By her final session, Jenny had met all her treatment goals. She was sleeping, putting on weight and seeing her friends socially. She was spending time in her beloved garden again, something she’d stopped doing because it reminded her of her husband. She was smiling and laughing, she was more engaged at work and she’d stopped harmful drinking.

NewAccess is free and open to anyone over 18 years. While a referral is not needed, they are accepted. Simply call 1300 971 309 or visit www.liveslivedwell.org.au/newaccess.

*Please note: Jenny is not the client’s real name. Changed to protect privacy. Stock image used.

Breakthrough for Families rolling out across Queensland

Lives Lived Well's BFF Team

Lives Lived Well will soon be delivering the Breakthrough for Families (BFF) program in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Cairns thanks to funding from the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women.

BFF provides information and support to family members of people who have problematic substance use. It can also deliver specialised support for families who are affected by methamphetamines. The service delivery involves a combination of free AOD education sessions, brief intensive intervention through counselling and case management, as well as links to other Lives Lived Well services or community organisations.

The education sessions provided as part of BFF aim to empower family members to make positive decisions as individuals and as part of a family unit.

These sessions involve a combination of:

  • information and education about alcohol and other drugs
  • understanding AOD use, how to respond to someone who is affected and the effects, risks and harms of use on individuals, families and the broader community
  • help understanding the impact of AOD use on physical and mental health and strategies to keep themselves and their family safe
  • information and advice on treatment, help and support options available in the community
  • practical strategies to help family members discuss substance use
  • addressing barriers to seeking help.

BFF is delivered in accessible times, places and formats to engage with families and enable diverse family and community members to attend.

The service is confidential and operates completely independently from the child protection system. Individuals and families can self-refer, or referrals can be made through our information and intake line: 1300 727 957, or on our website.

Building the AOD evidence base

LLW Research committee members

Did you know that Lives Lived Well is currently involved in 16 research projects?

We have a team of researchers, headed up by Professor Leanne Hides (above centre), from the University of Queensland, leading research projects across our QLD and NSW programs.  Professor Hides is our inaugural Lives Lived Well Chair in Alcohol, Drugs and Mental Health. She brings a team of researchers with her – Dr Dominique De Andrade (above left), Dr Catherine Quinn (above right) & Dr Rachel Elphinston.

Dr Julaine Allan is our Lives Lived Well Research Manager. Working from Orange, Julaine is a part of Lives Lived Well’s Clinical Directorate and has a long and successful history of research and senior leadership roles in the AOD sector. Julaine’s team includes Nicole Snowdon, Dr Anna Thompson, Raechel Wallace and Cathy Wilson. These teams are working with Lives Lived Well staff including headspace Southport Clinical Services Manager Philip Williams and Clinical Services/Gambling Manager Gerard Moloney.

Each study will include a recommended change or adaptation to practice that we can apply across our programs and share with the sector where relevant. Here’s a brief outline of some of the research projects:

Wellbeing group (GRIT)

Looking at the effectiveness of a wellbeing group as an intervention. Being conducted at our residential services – Mirikai and Logan House, the project complements our new six-week residential service model and will assess the impact of group-based physical and experiential treatment on substance use. GRIT sessions are offered twice weekly over six-weeks and cover topics like mindfulness and emotional regulation. Led by Cath Quinn, the trial is due to be completed in December 2018.

Telephone intervention (QuikFix)

Looking at a brief over-the-phone intervention aimed at helping young people reduce the harms related to drug and alcohol use. The intervention aims to provide young people with strategies enabling them to resist high risk situations. Led by Rachel Elphinston, the study is taking place at our Brisbane South, North and Gold Coast services and is due to be completed in June 2019.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

This study involves comparing an 8-week DBT skills group program with a 16-week DBT group and individual therapy program. The outcomes for the young people attending each program at our headspace Southport service will be compared. It is being led by Carlie Robertson, Dom DeAndrade and Lily Davidson.

Peer workforce project

Exploring the experiences of young people in peer support roles at headspace Southport, where an innovative peer workforce model has been implemented. The project will document what benefits and challenges the young people in these roles experience. It is being led by Philip Williams and Julaine Allan.

AOD interventions in rural NSW headspace centres

Working with headspace national to identify what types of drug and alcohol interventions would fit best in the headpsace model including what will be most acceptable to young people. The study includes six rural headspace centres in NSW. The feasibility study will be complete in June 2019, with the intention to test the recommended model. This is being led by Julaine Allan and Nicole Snowdon. 

Computerised cognitive remediation

Aims to test the impact and feasibility of computerised cognitive remediation interventions within a residential rehabilitation setting. Currently selecting the computerised program to trial. The project will take place at our Wattlegrove service in NSW and is due to finish in June 2020. It is being led by Anna Thompson and Julaine Allan. 

Substance use and gambling

We have conducted a survey that investigates the relationship between substance use and gambling. The survey was sent to nearly 3000 past and present clients in QLD and NSW. The survey results will be available in November this year. This project is led by Gerard Maloney, Cath Quinn and Julaine Allan.

Community rallies to support Lyndon Women’s

Lyndon Women's Program

Earlier this year we opened Lyndon Women’s, an innovative live-in recovery program for women with or without children in regional NSW.  Local businesses such as Bunnings and Star Chem are helping us build a home away from home for mums and kids.

Getting help for a drug or alcohol problem when you’re a parent can be challenging. Work and parenting responsibilities often prevent people from accessing live-in rehabilitation. Services such as our new Lyndon Women’s program enable women with or without children to participate in a free six-week residential rehabilitation program.

Lyndon Women’s is a unique drug and alcohol treatment program because it enables children up to 12 years to stay with their mothers, with the added support of dedicated childcare workers.

Creating a welcoming and homely environment for mums and their children has been an important part of our focus as we develop this site, so we’re particularly grateful to Orange-based organisations such as Bunnings, the Quota Club, Mullion Produce and Star Chem for helping us create a home away from home.

Women and children staying at Lyndon Women’s enjoy free range eggs and freshly picked vegies, thanks to the chickens and vegie gardens in the backyard. Our team worked with Bunnings staff to build the chicken coop and the raised vegie gardens – using materials also donated by Bunnings.

We’ve also received donations of welcome packs full of treats for the women and children and a variety of clothing. Women in the program can also enjoy a regular on-site pamper session.

Lyndon Women’s Program Manager, Nettie Lymbery, said the contributions from local businesses were gratefully received.

“The support has been wonderful and helped us create a really welcoming and safe environment, which in turn supports people in their recovery and helps them to live a life free from the harms of alcohol and other drugs,” she said.

The program can help with reducing dependence on drugs and alcohol, mental health concerns, relationship issues and the challenges of parenting. It can also can be extended if required and our counsellors assist with linkages to local community supports to help women with their transition back into community.

Our team (some pictured above) includes a registered nurse, psychologist, early childhood educator, childcare worker, and drug and alcohol counsellors.

Referrals are accepted, or women can self refer. Call 1300 596 366 or email: womensprogram@liveslivedwell.org.au
Go to http://www.lyndon.org.au/womens-program/ for more program info.

On the field for health and wellbeing

Mudjilali Men's football team

Lives Lived Well had its footy debut on Saturday 15 September when it sponsored the Mudjilali Men’s Group to compete in a regional NSW rugby league knockout carnival.  The Mudjilali Men’s Group drew its players from Wallaga Lake, Bega and Eden, ranging in ages from 16 to 42 years.

The NSW South Coast United Koori Rugby League Knockout carnival brought together 16 teams from across NSW for a one-day drug and alcohol-free event that helps to promote good health and lifestyle choices.  LLW was proud to support this community event – for those involved in the team and in helping to spread positive health messages.

Dennis Scott, the Men’s Group Facilitator at Lives Lived Well’s South Coast Drug and Alcohol Service, who helped organise the team said it was a great outcome for them as many had not played together before and had not pulled on the boots for a few years.  The team were proud to place fourth overall but more importantly enjoyed coming together as a community.

LLW was proud to support this team and congratulates them on their fine efforts.

Mobile support is changing lives in NSW

Roadmaps group image

Our mobile day support program Roadmaps is having a positive impact on the lives of people living in regional and rural NSW.

Roadmaps has only been operating since April but already, this free mobile alcohol and drug support program for adults is changing lives. Funded by the Western NSW PHN and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the six-week program has run in Gllgandra, Dubbo, Wellington, Nyngan and Warren.

David*, aged 25, participated in the program and is making big changes as a result.

David was referred to Roadmaps by Community Corrections. Since the age of 15 he has had a serious problem with cannabis. Community Corrections staff gave him two choices: enter live-in rehabilitation away from country or complete the Roadmaps program.

“The support and acceptance I got from the Roadmaps team encouraged me to keep going and the strategies I leaned have given me hope for the future,” he said. “My relationship with my partner has improved and I am doing things I never imagined. I’ve been out for lunch at a café and eaten my first ever ‘melt’. I’m walking the dogs and I’ve enrolled in TAFE to study a Certificate 2 in Construction.” Belonging to the Kamilaroi mob, David is taking his interest in art to the next level and has started selling his artwork online.

Jane* is another person whose life has turned around thanks to Roadmaps. She participated in the program when it ran in Gilgandra recently. Jane had been living a hermit lifestyle and was misusing ice on a daily basis.

“Roadmaps has provided me with a safe place to talk about things,” she said. “In the Roadmaps group I am around people who are making changes to their lifestyle, so we are all learning together and trying new skills. “I am feeling heaps better. I’m eating better and have put on some weight. We talk about respecting yourself and I am learning to do that and to believe in myself.”

Roadmaps provides intensive rehabilitation support which includes individual and group counselling sessions, information and referrals to other services.

People can join the program by self referring or being referred. For more information email DubboOutreach@liveslivedwell.org.au or phone 0429 927 714.

*Client names changed to protect privacy.

Their time to shine – three of our people awarded

Donna Award Photo

This quarter we were fortunate to acknowledge three of our people who received community or sector-based awards.

Our NSW Group Manager for Clinical Services, Michele Campbell (below right) was recognised for her alcohol and other drug support work, receiving an Outstanding Contribution Award at the Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies (NADA) Conference in Sydney on 7 June.

This is an outstanding achievement for Michele, who has spent most of her working life in the AOD sector, in city-based and rural services.

Also awarded, by being named a Westfield local hero, was Jade Mirabito (below left), our LGBTIQAP+ Specialist Worker at headspace Southport.

His award acknowledged his work in supporting young people from the LGBTIQAP+ community. He was among 74 other community members nominated from the northern Gold Coast region and was thrilled to come away with $10,000 to be spent in his workplace on enhancing his role and its capability.

Jade certainly has been helping to make a difference at headspace Southport with the number of people accessing the service who identify as LGBTIQAP+, increasing by almost 100 people in the past year.

He has also shared his professional knowledge and lived experiences with his colleagues to help enhance our inclusive culture and shared understanding of the issues LGBTIQAP+ people face.

Jade facilitates a monthly LGBTIQAP+ Mental Health Professionals Network, which supports the region’s professional development options for those in the sector wanting to learn about LGBTIQAP+ people. Anyone can come along to these free sessions.

The third award went to Donna Meyers (above), our Team Leader at Lives Lived Well Mackay who received a Sarina Community NAIDOC Award for her outstanding contribution to the Sarina Indigenous Community. Donna accepted the award on behalf of all the work her team does in delivering alcohol and drug support to the community as part of their regular outreach services and in supporting brighter futures for community members.

The team also held an Ice Forum in Sarina in July to provide more information about how they can support people and families in Sarina.

We congratulate Michele, Jade and Donna on these work-based achievements.

Jade and Michele with awards

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Lives Lived Well acknowledges the peoples of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia, respecting their continuing connection to land, culture and community. We pay our respects to elders past, present and future. 

Lives Lived Well celebrates diversity and is committed to providing inclusive services. Everyone has the right to live well, with dignity and respect. We offer support to all people without judgment or discrimination.