The Right Path consortium has been launched in south-west Victoria to introduce a new style of therapeutic treatment to ease the harm of alcohol and other drugs and other complicating issues. A new team has been appointed and has started rolling out services across the region.

The consortium is led by Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre (WRAD) with Glenelg South Grampians Drug Treatment Services and Colac Area Health. The project has received $554,291 funding as a pilot project from the State Government Department of Health.

Team leader Sybil Braybrook said the program aimed to secure client-driven outcomes, integrate services and provide easy-to-access treatment pathways for people in need. Ms Braybrook has been joined by clinicians Kayleigh Walmsley in Warrnambool, Wendy Howe in Glenelg and Maude Berry in Colac.

The program is the first of its type in rural Victoria and also marks the first time the three agencies have joined together to address a common need across the region. It is introducing a range of clinical counselling and support interventions to reduce drug use and related harm, and maintain therapeutic change. Linking to a range of local support services is an integral part of the treatment process.

Ms Braybrook said the Right Path team aimed to increase the number of people being supported to address their complex needs. “We want to make sure that people who need support are accessing the services they require. We have specialised services available and will identify gaps and develop new referral pathways to make the client’s journey easier,” she said. “It follows a `no wrong door’ philosophy to make sure clients get the right service provided by appropriate specialists to improve their mental, physical and social wellbeing. We have a strong focus on client participation.”

The service will be available to people aged over 18 with complex alcohol and other drug addiction problems and co-occurring mental health conditions affecting their lives. The Right Path Consortium will also work with families and carers to ensure a holistic approach.

Ms Braybrook said the consortium was focussing on recovery and maintenance and would use evidence-based therapeutic counselling to promote positive change. The team will also be supported by a psychologist. The team will work with GPs, health providers, industry and community leaders to strengthen existing and forge new partnerships. “We hope to prove over the next eight months of our funding that we are providing a service that helps people to make the right choice and makes a real difference in their lives,” Ms Braybrook said.

The Right Path team members can be contacted through the local consortium members in Warrnambool on 1300 009723, Colac 52 325100 and Glenelg 55 210350.