Research: Indigenous drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation

Please see research of three papers below and their abstracts:

“I just feel comfortable out here, there’s something about the place”: staff and client perceptions of a remote Australian Aboriginal drug and alcohol rehabilitation service

The need for effective, culturally safe residential rehabilitation services for Aboriginal people is widely acknowledged, however the combination of treatment components that is optimally effective, is not well defined. Most existing Aboriginal residential rehabilitation research has focused on describing client characteristics, and largely ignored the impact of treatment and service factors, such as the nature and quality of therapeutic components and relationships with staff.

The development of a healing model of care for an Indigenous drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation service: a community-based participatory research approach

Given the well-established evidence of disproportionately high rates of substance-related morbidity and mortality after release from incarceration for Indigenous Australians, access to comprehensive, effective and culturally safe residential rehabilitation treatment will likely assist in reducing recidivism to both prison and substance dependence for this population. In the absence of methodologically rigorous evidence, the delivery of Indigenous drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation services vary widely, and divergent views exist regarding the appropriateness and efficacy of different potential treatment components. One way to increase the methodological quality of evaluations of Indigenous residential rehabilitation services is to develop partnerships with researchers to better align models of care with the client’s, and the community’s, needs. An emerging research paradigm to guide the development of high quality evidence through a number of sequential steps that equitably involves services, stakeholders and researchers is community-based participatory research (CBPR). The purpose of this study is to articulate an Indigenous drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation service model of care, developed in collaboration between clients, service providers and researchers using a CBPR approach.

Understanding remote Aboriginal drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation clients: Who attends, who leaves and who stays?

Aboriginal residential rehabilitation services provide healing for Aboriginal people who misuse substances. There is limited available research that empirically describes client characteristics of these services. This study examined 5 years of data of a remote Aboriginal residential rehabilitation service.

Emerging Minds AU Online Training for Child Mental Health, Trauma

“If you are a clinical or non-clinical professional who works with children (aged 0 – 12 years), with adults who are parents, or with families, you are in a unique position to make a difference to children’s mental health.”

Emerging Minds AU has eight online training courses available to people working with children. The courses cover child mental health, supervision, and trauma. All modules require a short assessment and a certificate can be printed upon completion. All the training is free after registering online and available immediately. Please see the courses below and their descriptions:

Child Mental Health: (Not for therapeutic interventions)This course aims to build your understanding and capacity to identify vulnerable children. You can then reflect on how you and your organisation can better support parents and families with a view to improving the mental health outcomes of infants and children.

The course will explore the impact of parental vulnerabilities on the social and emotional wellbeing of children, help you understand intergenerational issues, consider the parent-child relationship within the context of the ‘whole child’ (ecology, environment, networks), and reflect on the strengths and vulnerabilities surrounding the child.

Trauma and the child: This course will introduce you to key elements of understanding the prevalence of trauma, and its impact on children and families. With the right supports, children can and do recover from experiences of trauma and adversity. Throughout this course you will work towards using your understanding about trauma and its impacts on children and families to explore an approach that will help you provide support. This approach is sensitive to the experiences of these children, and that takes into account information about how trauma can affect a child’s development, behaviour, emotions and wellbeing.

Child Aware Practice: This course aims to enhance understanding about the impact that adult problems may have on children and to support practitioners to think about children early in any contact with a parent. It ensures that families are supported to make and sustain changes so that they can better meet the needs of their children.

The course is interactive and features high-quality video scenarios that are partnered with a useful workbook. The workbook contains exercises, discussion starters and reflective questions that can be used in a range of settings (e.g. staff meetings, professional development, team and management meetings) by practitioners, team leaders, managers and organisations.

Supporting Infants and Toddlers: The course takes learners through the impact of mental illness on the family through the antenatal period, explains attachment and principles of sensitive communication with parents regarding the needs of their children. You will learn about parenting interventions and strategies to effectively support these families.

Child Aware Supervision: The Child Aware Supervision course provides training for supervisors in strategies that promote child and family-sensitive practices in their service.

Keeping Families and Children in Mind: The ‘Keeping Families and Children in Mind’ eLearning course supports learners to develop a family-sensitive approach when working with families where a parent has a mental illness. The course features six interactive learning modules that encourage learners to reflect and evaluate their current practice and to develop strategies to support children, parents, carers and families living in these environments.

Family Talk: The Family Talk intervention is an evidence-based program designed for mental health professionals working with parents experiencing depression and/or anxiety to foster resilience in their children and the family unit.

Let’s TalkLet’s Talk About Children (Let’s Talk) is a brief, evidence-based method that trains professionals to have a structured discussion with parents who experience mental illness about parenting and their child’s needs. It aims to make this conversation a routine part of the alliance between parents and professionals where they can explore the wellbeing and development of children and how their parent’s mental illness is understood by them.


For more information and to register in any or all of these courses, please visit the Emerging Minds training page here.

Cracks In The Ice: Free Comorbidity Guidelines Online Training for AOD Workers

Cracks In The Ice has released comorbidity guidelines for Alcohol and Other Drug workers free of cost. The guidelines also come with free online training.

Please see the description below of the guidelines:

Summary: The Comorbidity Guidelines aim to provide alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers with evidence-based information to assist with the management of co-occurring, or comorbid, AOD and mental health conditions.

The guidelines cover the following three sections of information:

  1. Part A addresses the nature and extent of comorbidity and discusses why it is important for AOD services to respond. Information regarding the prevalence, guiding principles, and classification of disorders are contained in Part A.
  2. Part B contains information regarding responding to comorbidity, including holistic health care, identifying comorbidity, risk assessments, care coordination, approaches to comorbidity, managing and treating specific disorders, and worker self-care.
  3. Part C addresses specific population groups.

The guidelines can be accessed online and are available to download as a PDF.

Please see the training abstract:

Summary: The Comorbidity Guidelines Online Training Program aims to provide alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers with evidence-based information to assist with the management of comorbid AOD and mental health conditions.

Specifically, the program has been developed to assist AOD workers:

  • Increase their knowledge and awareness of mental health conditions
  • Improve their confidence working with clients with comorbid mental health conditions
  • Improve their ability to identify mental health conditions
  • Improve their ability to recognise and respond to physical health comorbidities
  • Provide practical information on the delivery of a coordinated care approach to clients withcomorbid mental health conditions
  • Provide practical information on the management and treatment of comorbid mental health conditions
  • Improve their ability to manage their own self-care.

The training program consists of 11 training modules that can be completed in any order. At the end of each module, participants will be provided with a short quiz. Once all modules and quizzes have been successfully completed, a completion certificate will be available for download.

For more information on the guidelines or training please visit the Cracks In The Ice website here.