Drug & Alcohol Misuse Regarding BME Communities December 2011 LET S TALK EVENT. In Partnership with. Sahara

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1 Drug & Alcohol Misuse Regarding BME Communities December 2011 LET S TALK EVENT In Partnership with Sahara

2 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION WITH AIMS AND OBJECTIVES Page 2 THE EVENT Page 3 ASK THE AUDIENCE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Page 4-6 OPEN QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION Page 7-8 CONCLUSIONS / RECOMMENDATIONS Page 1 9

3 INTRODUCTION - AIMS AND OBJECTIVES An Interactive Roadshow Survey was carried out by Voices4wellbeing during 2010/2011. The survey was carried out to gain opinions from the general public, in the Borough of Rochdale, about their priorities regarding certain health and social care issues. Drug and Alcohol Misuse was one of the areas identified in the survey, with strong opinions voiced about not putting money into an area where they felt people had a choice. Black Minority Ethnic (BME) Health Matters strives to work with different groups of people across the Rochdale Borough and it was agreed to hold a Let s Talk event on Drug and Alcohol Misuse within the BME community. The event was planned to involve and work in partnership with other organisations in order to hold an event that was informative and interactive. BME Health Matters wanted to ask the BME community about their views regarding Drug and Alcohol Misuse and what they knew about service provisions. The event would also give other relevant organisations the opportunity to promote Drug and Alcohol awareness and inform the audience about the services available across the Rochdale Borough. The event was planned through working in partnership with Voices 4 Wellbeing, Rochdale & District Mind, CRI- Sahara Project also Early Break and the Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT). AIM: To engage and involve the BME communities from across the Borough of Rochdale in looking at access and improvements that could be made to the Drug and Alcohol services. OBJECTIVES: 1. To raise awareness with the BME communities about the Drug and Alcohol services already available in the Rochdale Borough. 2. To further develop and engage actively with BME communities so as to improve services. 3. To identify and reach out, in order to develop community volunteer champions. 4. To provide feedback to local service commissioners and make formal recommendations for service enhancement. 2

4 THE EVENT On 7th December BME Health Matters worked in partnership with Voices4wellbeing (V4W) to hold a Drug and Alcohol Misuse event within the BME community. Khalid Bashir from BME Health matters used his contacts and influences so as to encourage the community to attend and have their say. The event was held at the Castlemere Community Centre and over 100 people attended on the day! Anwar Shad from Road Safety gave a presentation on Drinking and Driving and Road Safety. The presentation was factual and some statistics and advertisement photographs were quite shocking in their reality. At this point Anwar Shad had the complete attention of the audience, showing them the horrors of what potentially could happen when people drink and drive. Wassiem Rafique from Rochdale s Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), talked to an interested audience about the services available and where to find and access them. Gary Byrne from the Sahara/CRI Project, also talked about services they provided and how to access them, at which point the building experienced a power cut. However speakers and organisers rose to the occasion, a torch was found and matters proceeded. Tricia Hornby (Chief Executive of Rochdale and District Mind) narrated a true story about a lady from the Asian community who was an alcoholic herself and how she received help from the services. Councillor Sultan Ali encouraged the members of the audience to acknowledge if they had drug or alcohol problems, not to deny them, but to access the services presented to them at the event. Ask the Audience equipment was used a view to gathering information from the audience about Drug and Alcohol misuse. 3

5 ASK THE AUDIENCE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 4

6 5

7 6

8 Open Question and Answer Session BME Drug & Alcohol Event - 7th December 2011 Q1: What substance are people misusing the most? Answer: Gary Byrne from Sahara said that trends have shown that males are often smoking cannabis and drinking spirits. Females often tend to smoke tobacco. Q2: People often don t know who to turn to when somebody close to them is struggling with drugs and alcohol. Our Ask the Audience session in the beginning of the event showed us that a number of people would go to their GP. Is there anybody else in the community they could go to? Answer: Wassiem Rafique from Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) said that people from the BME Community often don t feel comfortable visiting local GPs because they feel that they can t trust them and stay anonymous because they often come from their communities and know their families. He said that DAAT on Drake Street is always open to the public and there are professionals in their team who could help them to find suitable services and refer them further. He also said that support only works when this person wants to be supported. Q3: What to do with people whose first language is not English and who can t understand doctors or other service providers? Answer: Gary Byrne from Sahara said that council has some funds to have interpreters in hospitals, but at the moment they are mostly relying on volunteers, because there are not enough resources. He also said that there is a bigger problem with people from Eastern Europe than BME Community. He encouraged people to help their communities by volunteering if possible. Q4: Where could parents or partners find help and support when somebody close to them is misusing a substance? Answer: Early Break has got several projects going on that are trying to help and support parents or partners of people with problems. There is a project called Family Centered Time that is an opportunity for families to talk about issues that may impact on a young person s drug/alcohol use and to explore how this may affect family life. It s a free service, it s not a course or a set of instructions on how to parent. It is a time for family members to talk about issues that concern all of them. 7

9 Q5: What is out there to educate young people? How much do young people know about available services? Answer 1: There is not a lot out there. People are often thinking about going into GP practices to get information, but they might not have enough knowledge about available services in the borough. It would be useful to leave suitable leaflets into GP practices so they could give them to patients or leave them in community centre s. Answer 2: There is also a lot of information available in the internet. Lifeline Project would be also a great help for those who experience problems. Q6: What to do if you find a drug from the street? Who would be your first contact in the community? Answer: It s important to tackle this problem in the community. There are open forums taking place in the community that gives a chance to members of the public to have their say and get information about available services. DAAT would always help with this problem as well. There is also the number of Crime Stoppers who will organise picking it up after they receive information about it. It s important to say that authorities won t be enough and support from the community is needed. 8

10 Conclusions/Recommendation More visible presence of services in the community, local involvement with religious establishments, to work alongside local mosques and imams. Work with existing groups and forums along with all the local community centres. A campaign to focus on the issues in the media, local newspapers, radio station and poster campaign. Follow up of the event in other BME areas and the hard to reach communities, to highlight the issues, understanding and help raise awareness. Focus groups to identify more detailed feedback about drug and alcohol misuse issues which can be then used to develop a effective local service within the community. Work in partnership with relevant service providers to develop a network of BME community volunteers so that they can reach out to the community. Train and have awareness sessions delivered to the volunteers and to be actively engaged with the local communities. More collaboration with the local service providers and to keep the issues of drug and alcohol misuse on a high priority on the agenda. 9

11 Contact Details of BME Health Matters: KHALID BASHIR Address: BME Health Matters 187 Drake Street Rochdale OL11 1EF Phone:

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