A new resource helping to address stigma and discrimination has officially launched
The City of Melbourne, alongside a number of the city’s outreach support services, has officially launched a City Drug Support Services flyer on how best to help vulnerable community members.
The flyer, which details all of the wraparound services in the city, is aimed at informing residents, traders, workers, students, and visitors of who to contact if they come across someone who appears to be experiencing difficulties.
Speaking about the flyer – an initiative of the Melbourne Alcohol and Other Drugs Network – at a launch event at a Melbourne Town Hall on May 10, Lord Mayor Sally Capp said it was an “incredibly valuable resource” to have within the city.
“This resource empowers everybody to be able to have a more positive and improved experience when they are confronted with drug and health issues on our streets, but importantly, it also makes a difference for the people impacted by drugs, addiction, homelessness, mental health, or current financial stresses,” Cr Capp said.
Anybody that is in need is deserving of help, and this resource and tool is important to making a positive difference in people’s lives and changing people’s lives.
The flyer is designed to be used as a tool that helps people to make a difference, and details what support services to contact depending on the situation, and how to deal with someone who looks to be struggling.
Information within the flyer was gathered following the results from a survey conducted by the Local Drug Action Team (LDAT), a group of organisations which formed a partnership to address alcohol and other drug-related issues.
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) works closely with LDAT to develop and deliver evidence-based activities, and ADF CEO Erin Lalor said the information gathered helped to inform the brochure and its “purpose to address stigma and discrimination”.
“We really wanted to understand what could be done for people experiencing homelessness in the CBD to feel safer and more included, and to create a more welcoming environment for people who live and come into this community,” she said.
The informative flyer has already begun circulating around the municipality, through outreach workers, peer support workers, and stakeholder engagement staff, as they interact with residents and businesses each day.
They will also be distributed through the City of Melbourne’s neighbourhood partners and alcohol and other drug services when they attend local meetings, such as residents’ group meetings or business precinct meetings.
The City’s drug support services are brought about through the efforts of Cohealth, the City of Melbourne, The Salvation Army Melbourne Project 614, Victoria Police, the ADF, The Living Room, Yarra Drug and Health Forum, Drummond Street Services, and Melbourne City Mission. •