Community support for drug and alcohol issues - ‘Who are you going to call?’

Wednesday, 23 November 2011 – Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement
Community support for drug and alcohol issues - ‘Who are you going to call?’

Over 100 delegates from the community and voluntary sectors learned about the services and support available to tackle drug and alcohol issues in the Northern area following a key drug and alcohol networking event, funded by the Public Health Agency.

Twenty-five organisations highlighted and promoted their work and services, available within the Northern area, to reduce drug and alcohol related harm at the recent event which was  hosted by the Voluntary Community Sector Network (VCSN), a network subgroup the Northern Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination Team (NDACT).

Those visiting the event included GPs, local councillors, MLAs, local community groups, voluntary organisations and statutory bodies. They explored how to access services and consider ways to link and encourage partnership working across sectors in the region.

Jayne McConaghie, Senior Officer for Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement, explained the importance of this event, saying: “The Public Health Agency works in partnership with community organisations and others to tackle health inequalities and to promote positive health and wellbeing.

“This event attracted over 100 people working to reduce drug and alcohol related harm and improve health and wellbeing for our communities. Many of our partners, working in this important area, were delighted to be able to take time out in an informal setting where they made contact with other service providers, some of whom they were previously unaware of. The value of this event was evident, particularly in the amount of new information, awareness and support shared amongst those with a professional or personal interest in this challenging are of work.”

After the event, Eugene O'Goan from the Mid-Ulster based TIPSA Drugs and Alcohol education project and the current Chairman of the VCSN, added: ''I am delighted to see the array of service providers from across the Northern area who participated in the event. It is also uplifting to see so many elected representatives and community activists who had taken the time from their busy schedules to attend the event. It is crucial that the VCSN continue to utilise creative events like this to highlight the range of services available and how to link with them.”

Further information

Contact the PHA Press Office on 028 9031 1611

Notes to the editor

  • The PHA takes the lead on the DHSSPS’s New strategic direction for alcohol and drugs 2006–2011.
  • The VCSN is an umbrella group for organisations that provide services within the Northern Trust and is a sub-group of the Northern Drugs and Alcohol Coordination Team (NDACT), led by the PHA. NDACT is a collaboration of key organisations working within the field of drugs and alcohol from the Northern area, including a range of voluntary, community and statutory bodies.
  • For tips on talking to your child about alcohol, go to: www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/you-your-child-and-alcohol
  • For support and advice for parents, contact the Parents’ Advice Centre’s confidential and free helpline on 0808 8010 722 or go to: www.parentsadvicecentre.org
  • For information for adults on alcohol, go to www.knowyourlimits.info