ReGen in the Media

A collection of articles, interviews and images of ReGen featured in the media

croakeyThe following article has been published on the Croakey health blog:

 At a time when Australian communities are demanding a response to methamphetamine use, UnitingCare ReGen’s CEO Laurence Alvis asks why the Federal Government is reducing the capacity of the Alcohol and Other Drug and Mental Health sectors to inform policy responses and develop targeted, evidence based programs.

Read more: Opinion: drug treatment services need funding certainty (09/04/15)

croakeyThe following article has been published on the Croakey health blog (and republished by DrinkTank).

 

Just because ‘there’s an app for that’, doesn’t mean anyone is going to use it.  Responding to the promotion of another simplistic app that purports to challenge young people about the impacts of their drinking, UnitingCare ReGen CEO Laurence Alvis considers what works in supporting people to change their behaviour and some of the challenges for service providers in providing meaningful interventions online.

 

Melbourne, VIC, 11th November 2014 – Recent coverage of an American photo-based online tool in Australian media (‘Facing up to alcoholism with new photo tool’) serves as a reminder of the glut of well-intentioned but largely ineffective health-based apps that have been published in recent years.

 

Initiatives such as ‘Your face as an alcoholic’ (there is also a partner ‘Your face on meth’ tool, echoing the controversial and highly stigmatising ‘Faces of Meth’ campaign) are unlikely to be effective with young people, even if they are based on selfies.  While these two examples are not particularly well realised (see the comments by people who have used either of the two tools), other similar initiatives such as the Scottish ‘Drinking Mirror’ fail on the same grounds: they don’t reflect the lived experience of their apparent target audience.

Anyone with experience in working with (or caring for) young people knows that warning them of possible consequences in ten years’ time is unlikely to change their behaviour, particularly when that behaviour is associated with enjoyment and seen as being a natural part of their social life.  Young people in particular have a keen eye for detecting patronising or agenda-driven campaigns and are typically resistant to scare tactics

 

If we’re serious about changing behaviour, we need interventions that are holistic, treat people with respect, support informed decision-making and build resilience.  Health advice that ignores the reality of young people’s experience is unlikely to be heeded, regardless of the medium for its delivery.

Read more: We need more than gimmicks to face up to alcohol and other drugs (13/11/14)