Addiction


The Stimulant Treatment Program team at St Vincent’s Hospital is testing a new smartphone app (S-Check) designed to help Australians manage their methamphetamine use.

In Australia, one in 70 people have used methamphetamine in the past year.  Harms related to methamphetamine use are increasing. Yet many who are experiencing harm from methamphetamine use do not seek help, or delay seeking help for many years.

To address this, The Stimulant Treatment Program at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney (SVHS) has developed the S-Check App, based on the model of care at its S-Check Clinic. The App aims to be a readily accessible tool for people who might not access regular treatment and support. 

The S-Check App is designed to provide up-to-date information about methamphetamine. Its features allow people to track their use, help identify any associated health problems. It provides links to support services if necessary.

How it works

The key features of the S-Check App are questionnaires, reminders, alerts, information, and regular check-ins to track ongoing health. Individual health assessment is made through six key categories:

  • Physical Health
  • Methamphetamine Use
  • Psychological Wellbeing
  • Sexual Health
  • Cognitive Health
  • Social Health & Lifestyle

In each category, App users will be asked to respond to a series of questions about them and their methamphetamine use. The App will evaluate responses and provide individualised feedback on methamphetamine related risks and harm, as well as suggestions on how best to manage use. App users will be provided with relevant information and support should they need it.

Other app features

The S-Check App provides interactive tools for people to discover more about methamphetamine and track their use over time. There is a journal section where people can save photos, audio and words to document their experiences. An achievement section is also available to mark their progress. More importantly, users can access to the ‘Help Now’ section with a list of emergency and support services should urgent help be required. Finally, if the App assesses that the users should seek help from a health professional, a referral letter can be generated and downloaded from the App to present to their GP.

Research trial

The App is currently being trialled. If people wish to participate in the trial, the App is available free to download on Google® Play or the Apple® App store.

The trial is open to anyone who reports using methamphetamine in the past month, is over 18 years old, resides in Australia, and has access to a personal smartphone to participate in the study.

For more information on the S-Check App trial, visit www.scheckapp.org.au or contact Emily Li on svhs.scheckapptrial@svha.org.au


Sexual Health

On-Demand *PrEP is effective in preventing HIV and has been studied in one research trial of men who have sex with men.

It involves taking two pills 2-24 hours before sex, and then a pill each 24 hours after sex for the next two days.

It is important that when using on-demand PrEP that you adhere strictly to the dosing

regimen to provide the greatest level of protection against HIV.

Learn more and how to get started HERE.

*PrEP is an acronym that stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It involves HIV negative people taking antiretroviral drugs to protect them and prevent HIV infection. When used as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective at preventing HIV infection.


The HARP Unit have partnered up with headspace Wollongong & the ISLHD Drug and Alcohol team to create a YouTube presentation.

Originally created for Wollongong TAFE, due to being unable to deliver face to face during COVID19, other people might also like to see or pass on the information.

The three  15 minutes sessions include:

  • Sexual Health Education–  STI’s, prevention and where to get tested
  • Mental Health– Signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression and helping a friend
  • Drug and Alcohol– Being over the limit, impacts of drug and/or alcohol on driving

Click the YouTube link to access the 55 minute video

Please let us know what you think of the video by taking this quick(promise!) evaluation survey.


After a popular tour in 2019 the Red Ribbon Surfboard competition tour is returning between July and December 2020.

Winners will be drawn on the 15th December 2020 to acknowledge World AIDS Day on December 1st.

The Red Ribbon is a unifying symbol of solidarity and respect for people living with HIV/AIDS and the surfboard continues to raise awareness around sexual health & blood borne infections.

In 2020 this beautiful surfboard features art work by Gerringong based artist Melanie Duncan.

If your service is within the boundaries of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District we invite you to display the surfboard at your service/organisation for a two week stay. All you need is a highly visible, safe area to display the surfboard to your clients or the public, giving them a chance to go into the draw to win by texting ‘share affection not infection’ and their postcode to the HARP Unit.

HARP will securely install and remove the surfboard.

This EOI will close Friday 19th June. Hosts will be advised week commencing 22nd June 2020. The tour commences 27thJuly 2020.

If you are interested, please reply to this email jennifer.farinella@health.nsw.gov.au


Community

Shellharbour City Council are seeing feedback on their draft Friendship/Sister City Policy and would love to know your thoughts. The draft policy outlines a framework to extend the hand of friendship and foster relationships with other communities abroad. These relationships can help develop educational, cultural, economic, trade and other beneficial exchanges.

The draft policy will be facilitated by a Committee of community and Council members and will be on public exhibition from 20 May to 17 June 2020.

For more information or to offer feedback, visit: https://letschatshellharbour.com/draft-friendshipsister-city-policy


Food and Living

Sydney Water

Customer Care

If your employment or income has been affected by COVID-19, our financial assistance options may be able to help. Go to the Help with your bill page on our website for information on how we can help.

If you are experiencing payment difficulties and a flexible payment option is not sufficient, ask to be referred to the Customer Care Team for an assessment.

Our qualified case managers provide holistic solutions for customers experiencing affordability issues. We offer direct financial support through our Payment Assistance Scheme (PAS) and aim to improve our customer’s financial wellbeing, inclusion and resilience by referring customers to external services based on their needs.

This may include referrals to other agencies for other types of help including:

  • emergency relief
  • financial counselling
  • personal counselling
  • advocacy
  • housing
  • NILS
  • EAPA

Eligibility for PAS includes:

  • owner occupiers – multiple property owners are not eligible for PAS but can be offered deferrals of payment and affordable pay arrangements
  • private tenants with NSW Lease Agreement
  • properties that are individually metred

Call our contact centre on 13 20 92 and ask for our Customer Care team. Alternatively, customers can refer to one of our PAS accredited community agencies.

If you are a service provider and would like to know how you can refer your customers and become an accredited agency, email us at customercare@sydneywater.com.au

For more information, email us at customercare@sydneywater.com.au and tell us how we can help you


Safety

You are invited to participate in a survey to better understand and coordinate efforts to prevent sexual violence and harassment.

The Department of Social Services has engaged Deloitte to conduct a stocktake of sexual violence prevention initiatives in Australia. As part of the stocktake, the Department of Social Services is interested to understand the role of your organisation and the primary prevention initiatives that your organisation provides.

This survey, facilitated by Deloitte, will focus on information about the sexual violence and sexual harassment primary prevention initiatives at your organisation, including how your initiatives are funded, where they are delivered, who they reach and how long they have been running for.

Following completion of this survey, please feel free to distribute the link to this survey to your colleagues in charge of certain prevention initiatives in your organisation, or to other organisations that you know that engage with the primary prevention of sexual violence or sexual harassment.

For those organisations that we have already consulted with, we thank you for your time. Please include any initiative-specific information in this survey to assist us with the stocktake.

If you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact either myself or Cheryl Lorens from Deloitte on clorens@deloitte.com.au. If you have any questions regarding the broader project, please contact Ruth Pitt on ruth.pitt@dss.gov.au. The survey will close on 12 June 2020.

Please click here to begin the survey.


COVID-19

Use this script: Agony Uncle helps you get a better deal

We know many smaller not-for-profits don’t qualify for the JobKeeper or cash boost schemes. So when the Historical Society of Mooroopna got in touch with us to ask what it could do to ease the squeeze, Agony Uncle (aka Chris Borthwick) and the Our Community team came up with a stack of suggestions on how it could reduce costs, boost income and win support.

Read more 

Free webinar: Flattening the curve of mental ill-health

12:30 pm AEST, June 11, 16 and 19

Prevention United – which promotes mental wellbeing – is hosting this webinar series to head off a predicted spike in mental health conditions. Topics range from the economic case for prevention to the place of compassion in public policy.

Register now 

Webinars you can catch on replay

Our Community hosted these free webinars in the past week, and you can still catch them:

Diversify your fundraising

Engaging with funders during a crisis

Keeping mentally fit during COVID-19

You’ll also find webinars on AGMs, government help, economic impact, workplace changes and much more on the SOS site.

View past webinars 

How to thank your volunteers

We hope you found time to celebrate Volunteer Week last week. Perhaps it got you thinking that thanking your biggest supporters for their help is something you should do more often. Here are 14 ways to act on that impulse, plus links to more great resources.

Read more 

Q&A: Dealing with volunteers during the pandemic 

Free exercise program will keep you flexible and focused

Staying healthy is important for your own well-being but also for your work in contributing to your organisation’s mission. Here are a few tips from exercise physiologist Shelly Harper to help you stay in tip-top shape.

Read more 

COVID-19 news from the sector

News: Pandemic threat to 230,000 groups

Seventy percent of Australia’s sporting clubs, arts and cultural organisations, community groups, welfare services and youth services have described themselves as “threatened” by COVID in a new national survey by Our Community.

The study, which drew on 366 responses, shows the $146 billion sector is fighting for cash, volunteers and even – for many of the country’s 600,000 organisations – survival.

The COVID-19 Community Sector Impact Survey was held as part of the #GivingTuesdayNow campaign.

Read more 

Trusted sources for COVID-19 help

Need information about communications, technology and staying safe online during the pandemic? Check the latest additions to our growing list of trusted sources of information for not-for-profits.

Read the list here 


Introducing the new Fams Network

In light of the significant stress that COVID-19 is placing on services and their staff, the Fams Board has taken the decision to set up a “Fams Network” in place of a traditional membership scheme.

The Fams Network will be available free to all TEI funded services who align with Fams’ values and will enable participants to access all our electronic materials and receive newsletter and regular updates.  Consequently no membership renewal invoices will be sent this year, instead, all existing members will be automatically subscribed to the Fams Network.

For organisations and individuals who would like the opportunity to vote at the AGM, become a member of the Board and participate in the strategic direction of Fams, a new membership option will be set up.  More information on this will follow in the next financial year.

Fams would like to acknowledge the amazing contribution our members have made to the organisation and welcome everyone to our Fams Network.


R&DVSA Vicarious trauma training

Workers who are exposed to traumatic events from those who have had that experience (vicarious trauma), witnessing the trauma experienced by others (Secondary Traumatic Stress) or directly experiencing events where they are in danger (PTSD) can all experience trauma impacts.

Fams has negotiated a discount rate of $30 per person with R&DVSA to provide a one hour e-training module to support workers who may have experienced trauma.

This on line workshop will assist frontline workers in identifying the impacts of vicarious trauma, as well as reflecting on evidence-based strategies which can support individuals in offsetting impacts.

Registrations will be open from 1 June.  To register, visit https://www.trybooking.com/BJSCJ

Once your registration is received, you will be sent an email which will enable you to logon and commence the training.  Full details of the training can be found here



Resilient Australia Awards

Applications are now open for the Resilient Australia Awards and the

NSW Get Ready Community Award 2020

There has never been a more important time to come together, inspire and celebrate initiatives that help us better prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.

The Resilient Australia Awards is a national program which recognises initiatives that strengthen community disaster resilience.

The NSW Get Ready Community Award is a State initiative that recognises a local community that has worked together to make their community more prepared and better able to recover from disasters.

Award categories

The 2020 NSW award categories are:

  • NSW Get Ready Community Award
  • Resilient Australia Business Award
  • Resilient Australia Community Award
  • Resilient Australia Government Award
  • Resilient Australia Local Government Award
  • Resilient Australia School Award
  • Resilient Australia Photography Award – People’s Choice

The winners of the Resilient Australia Award categories will automatically progress to consideration for the Resilient Australia national awards.

How to enter

Apply for the NSW Get Ready Community Award by completing the application form available online and emailing it to GetReadyNSW@justice.nsw.gov.au.

Apply for the Resilient Australia Awards using the portal to submit an application.

We are here to help!

We encourage you to contact our Awards Convenor with any questions about applying.

Visit https://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/Pages/emergency-management/Awards/Awards.aspx

Email GetReadyNSW@justice.nsw.gov.au or NSWResilientAustraliaAwards@justice.nsw.gov.au