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Building Stronger Communities Project.

Building Stronger Communities Project.

QPASTT, Woolloongabba, Australia
This presentation aims to highlight current issues faced by young people from refugee backgrounds who developed harmful coping strategies including use of alcohol and drugs. Trauma and gaps in alcohol and other drug (AOD) service delivery have been identified
as contributing factors.
There has been a cry out from a number of leaders from refugee backgrounds seeking support regarding issues with the misuse of alcohol and other drugs in their communities. This lead QPASTT to develop a pilot project supporting community champions to engage with the AOD sector to gain insight on how services operate and develop ways to support young community members from refugee backgrounds.
Five community representatives from South Sudanese, Eritrean, Syrian, Burundian, and Liberian communities were selected. The project aimed at filling in the gap between alcohol and other drugs services and communities in Brisbane and Logan in order to implement effective ways that youth can be supported. Services have acknowledged that there is an under representation of
consumers for CALD communities including people from a refugee background and these services are looking into different ways to establish a working relationship with these communities. The champions could be a bridge for this challenge.
While the project aimed to identify and fill gaps, the group has identified the following challenges:
• AOD services in Brisbane are having difficulties engaging with multicultural youth due to barriers such as stigma, services awareness and cultural and language differences.
• Young people have been deterred by the clinical settings of alcohol and other drugs services.
• AOD service providers need to improve the services they provide in order to make these services culturally sensitive.
This project identified significant gaps in the delivery of AOD services for multicultural youth and is looking into ways to improve this from a grass roots approach.