ACON receives $450,000 funding boost to combat drug and alcohol use in LGBTI community
Central and Eastern Sydney PHN (CESPHN) has awarded ACON $450,000 in funding to assist the organisation in developing a better response to the problem use of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) among the areas LGBTIQ community.
The funding will roll out over a two year period and will be used to enhance drug and alcohol support services currently in play, increasing ACON’s capacity to provide counselling and other support for LGBTIQ people experiencing problematic alcohol or other drug use.
ACON will also utilise the funds to develop a new campaign targeting the LGBTIQ community to assist community members in identifying AOD problems and raise awareness of how to access help. The funds will also be used to assist ACON in providing training for mainstream service providers in order that they can better respond to LGBTIQ clients’ needs.
According to ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill the LGBTIQ community face a range of challenges in identifying problematic substance abuse.
“While we know that most LGBTIQ people who use alcohol and other drugs do so in a non-problematic way, some experience significant harms related to their use. Helping our communities identify early signs of problems where they may need assistance with their AOD use requires sensitive messages. Handled appropriately, health promotion campaigns can assist our communities to check in and get support which in turn improves the overall health of our communities.” Parkhill said.
Parkhill suggests oftentimes LGBTIQ people are reluctant to seek treatment because of concerns about prejudice and discrimination. With the increased funding, ACON hopes to remedy this issue.
“It’s important that we will also be able to work directly with AOD service providers to support LGBTIQ clients. This means that LGBTIQ people seeking support elsewhere within the PHN are more likely to receive appropriate care, which improves outcomes.
“We’re extremely grateful to CESPHN for recognising the needs of LGBTIQ people and for providing this funding, particularly because it provides a much needed boost to our ability to provide client services,” Parkhill concluded.