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Meeting young people where they’re at

Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS), Drummond Street Services and Odyssey House Victoria have partnered to establish and operate a Youth Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Intersectional Care Coordination Platform (the Platform) across the northwest region of Metropolitan Melbourne funded by the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN).

The Platform is based on an integrated service delivery model which ensures that young people and families from a diversity of social and cultural backgrounds, identities and abilities are able to access specialist Youth AOD and lived experience workers. The Platform provides effective treatment of substance use issues along with mental and physical health, homelessness, legal and cultural connection services.

The Platform adopts a bio-psycho-socio-cultural model of care that considers the full development of a young person to include every aspect and experience that a young person has known in their life. It also applies an intersectional approach paired with resilience-based practice, which means specialist workers wholistically assess the unique, and sometimes complex, needs of young people and what support services they may require.

The Platform is now live and is offering the following suite of programs and support:

  • Intersectional care planning and coordination,
  • Resilience-based AOD case management,
  • AOD counselling and targeted brief intervention,
  • Family focused early intervention,
  • AOD withdrawal management and primary/ mental health linkage, and
  • Secondary consultation and facilitation of capacity building.

The Platform will outpost their services to external services as well as invite services to ‘in-reach’ to provide ‘wrap-around’ support to young people and their families.

For more information about the Platform or to make a referral, call 1800 458 685 Monday to Friday between 9am – 5pm.

Quote attributable to Andrew Bruun, CEO, YSAS (he/him)  

 “Often young people and their families find it hard to navigate a complex community service system that wasn’t built for them.

“The Platform aims to fix that by meeting young people and their families where they are at with specialist care and full wrap-around support, whether they need alcohol and other drugs treatment, primary and mental healthcare, crisis housing or legal advice.

“The North West Melbourne Primary Health Network have supported us every step of the way to establish and launch the Intersectional Care Coordination Platform, and we are incredibly grateful for their ongoing support.

“YSAS looks forward to rolling out this new program across Melbourne’s northwest in partnership with Drummond Street Services and Odyssey House Victoria as leaders in intersectional youth-specific healthcare and alcohol and other drug services.”

Quote attributable to Karen Field, CEO, Drummond Street Services (she/her)  

“Our treatment approach is based on the understanding that when young people have access to health enhancing opportunities and resources, provided in a meaningful and inclusive way, they can develop the capacity to face, overcome and even be strengthened by life’s adversities.

“We recognise that many people within our communities experience high rates of social inequality and marginalisation.

“As a result, some people, groups, families and communities continue to experience poorer health and wellbeing outcomes. Our services are committed to social inclusion, co-designing and co-delivering our services alongside priority communities. In this exciting new program, we are privileged to work alongside Pasifika, African and LGBTIQA+ communities.

“Drummond Street Services and Queerspace look forward to extending our care to more young people and their families in Melbourne’s northwest as a part of this Youth AOD Intersectional Care Coordination Platform partnership.

“When people are connected to healthy supportive relationships with peers, partners and families – they can thrive.”

Quote attributable to Dr Stefan Gruenert, CEO, Odyssey House Victoria (he/him)  

“Odyssey House Victoria specialist staff are acutely aware of the need to embed intersectionality and inclusion within the drug and alcohol sector.

“To remain relevant to the young people and families of Melbourne’s northwest, we must make sure our services and programs are relevant to the widest range of people, welcoming all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, those from culturally diverse backgrounds, and those from lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, intersex and queer, and questioning (LGBTIQ+) communities.

“By combining our shared expertise, our commitment to inclusion and our local community connections within this partnership, we will be able to connect with even more young people who need our care.”

— Ends — 

About YSAS (Youth Support + Advocacy Service):

The Youth Support + Advocacy Service (YSAS) is Australia’s largest, youth-specific community service organisation. Operating since 1998 as Victoria’s flagship Youth Alcohol and Other Drug service, YSAS now employs over 350 skilled staff across 19 sites in metropolitan and regional Victoria. While the prime focus of YSAS remains on effective Youth AOD treatment and sector leadership, the organisation also has extensive experience in providing young people and families with services that support improved mental health and improve meaningful community participation.

About Drummond Street Services: 

Serving Victorian families and individuals since 1887, Drummond Street Services and Queerspace (2019) support families and individuals, promote connected and inclusive communities and drive innovation and research into family support interventions.

About Odyssey House:

For more than 40 years, Odyssey House Victoria has been providing alcohol and other drug treatment, training and support to individuals and their families who experience significant or long-term problems. Many of our staff have a lived experience of addiction and recovery, and we work holistically, assisting people to reach their full potential and to engage in work, family and community life.

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