A new service to address drug and alcohol misuse among children and young people in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan has been launched.
The multi-agency Switched On team support practitioners, like school and youth workers, to increase their awareness of the topic, give lessons about the dangers of substance misuse, and support in dealing with incidents.
Switched On comprises staff from Public Health Wales, Inroads, NewLink Wales, and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.
Christine Farr, Health Promotion Practitioner for the Cardiff and Vale Public Health Team, said: “We ensure that all information we provide is age appropriate, up to date and does not use shock tactics as this is proven to be ineffective.
“As well as providing substance misuse toolkits for schools, youth and community settings, Switched On also gives one on one support to help schools and other services with policies and education programmes.”Switched On was launched at an event held at Cardiff County Hall on 13 May which was attended by almost 100 education, youth services and voluntary sector workers.
Lisa Cordery, Lead Nurse for the Switched On team, said: “The health board Switched On nurses provide a bridge between unscheduled or inpatient services for young people and follow up.
“This improved communication pathway aims to create a further safeguarding net to compliment processes already in place such as School Nurse referrals.
“The future comprises further work between Switched On and the Alcohol Treatment Centre and the Emergency Unit. The nurses welcome queries about training and referrals for follow up where a young person presents with alcohol use.”
Christine Farr: “We ensure that all information we provide is age appropriate, up to date and does not use shock tactics as this is proven to be ineffective.”
Conrad Eydmann, Head of Substance Misuse Strategy and Development for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “Switched On is a holistic, multi-agency service that provides an effective response to the important public health issue of substance misuse in children and young people.
“It forms part of our Universal Services which all aim to inform, educate and support people working with substance misuse issues and those going through addictions or recovery in our area.”
More information about Switched On is available from the Cardiff and Vale substance misuse website – http://www.red-button.org/