Substance Misuse Working Group
Kerry CYPSC has established a Drugs & Alcohol Working Group. Their work includes the development of the THINK About Alcohol Booklet the THINK About Alcohol Preventative Education Programme for Secondary Schools; a Communication Protocol between An Garda Síochána & Secondary Schools to support effective communication and cooperation between secondary schools and the Gardaí in relation to alcohol and drug issues.
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Membership of the Drugs & Alcohol Working Group
Membership of the Drugs & Alcohol Working Group includes representatives from the statutory and community and voluntary services and supports in Kerry including: Tusla Child & Family Agency; An Garda Síochána; Kerry Life Skills; North & East Kerry Development Partnership; Kerry Diocesan Youth Service; St Brendan’s College, Killarney; Kerry Network of FRCs; Kerry Traveller Health & CDP; and the Southern Regional Drugs & Alcohol Task Force.
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The main objectives of the Drugs & Alcohol Working Group are to:
- To address teen substance misuse, in particular, teen alcohol abuse and binge drinking in County Kerry
- Identify a number of initiatives which can be put in place to reduce teen alcohol misuse, as well as raise awareness of the dangers associated with alcohol abuse
- Improve services and outcomes regarding youth alcohol and substance misuse through a coordinated, interagency approach across the county
Key priorities identified by the working group include:
- Drugs & Alcohol Misuse: To develop preventative and educational strategies to address drugs and alcohol misuse among young people in Kerry
- Drugs & Alcohol Services & Supports: To influence the effective use of resources across the county to enable more effective coordination of drugs and alcohol services in Kerry
These priorities are in line with the objectives of the National Children’s Policy Framework ‘Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures’ and will be achieved through collaborative, interagency working with all key stakeholders.
[efitems title=”THINK About Alcohol Booklet” text=”The THINK About Alcohol Booklet was developed by the Drugs & Alcohol Working Group in 2015. The booklet provides information on alcohol for young people, their parents or guardians, and teachers, in order to help them discuss drinking openly and honestly. It looks at how drinking alcohol might affect young people and highlights the services that are available when help is needed.
The booklet is not a substitute for talking to someone who is trained to help. If you are concerned about your own alcohol use or the alcohol use of someone you care about, you should talk to someone you trust like your GP, school, or community drugs and alcohol project. They can advise you about alcohol and drugs counselling services in Kerry. Contact details of services and supports are provided on this website and throughout the THINK About Alcohol booklet. “]
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In 2016 Kerry CYPSC Drugs & Alcohol Working Group developed the THINK About Alcohol Preventative Education Programme on Alcohol for Secondary Schools which fits within the SPHE curriculum. The programme was developed in response to needs identified by principals and teachers in Kerry. Following training, we piloted the programme in Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee; St Brendan’s College, Killarney; Presentation Secondary, Listowel; Castleisland Community College, Castleisland; and Killorglin Community College, Killorglin in September to November 2016.
Feedback from both teachers & students was extremely positive. We subsequently invited all secondary schools in Kerry to participate in ‘stage 2’ of the THINK About Alcohol Preventative Education Programme on Alcohol for Secondary Schools. Each school was invited to send 2 SPHE coordinators/SPHE teachers and guidance counsellors to participate in the free training. 22 of the 26 secondary schools in Kerry have participated in this initiative to date.
The THINK About Alcohol Education Programme for Secondary Schools contains 4-6 lessons which address the following topics:
- Alcohol & Culture
- Information on Alcohol – The Facts
- Decision Making & Risks
- Harm Reduction (Junior Cycle & Senior Cycle)
- ‘The Brown Bottle’ by Penny Jones: Getting Help with Alcohol
- Programme Reflections, Evaluation & Close
Each lesson plan uses a variety of interactive teaching techniques and tools to ensure students are engaged, reflecting and learning including: games, quiz, walking debates, scenarios, video clips, a reflective story, and music.
For further information please contact:
Claire O’Toole, Coordinator, Kerry Children & Young People’s Services Committee, HSE Community Services Building, Rathass, Tralee
(066) 7199764 or (086) 7871477
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Membership of the Drugs & Alcohol Working Group
In partnership with An Garda Síochána (AGS) a communication protocol between AGS and Kerry Secondary Schools was established in order to support improved communication and collaboration between the Gardaí and schools in relation to youth alcohol and drug issues. A Garda Liaison Officer has been appointed to work with principals and staff of every secondary school in Kerry. The contact details of the assigned Gardaí are circulated to the schools together with a referral form at the beginning of each school year.
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Links to all relevant services & supports to be provided
Alcohol & Behaviour Poster