It's an innovative way to have your say
IN A bid to better understand social norms around drug and alcohol use, cards that look just like business cards will be appearing all over Stanthorpe - including on the front of pizza boxes - encouraging locals to have their say on the issue.
Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre's Local Drug Action Team project manager Nicola Fisher said the cards were inviting locals to contribute their ideas and suggestions via a quick survey.
The card poses the question: "How can we continue to build a resilient, safe and healthy community? Be part of the change.”
Ms Fisher said the survey could be completed online by anyone, including non-smokers, non-drug users and non-drinkers.
The LDAT project, organised with the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, has been funded by the Federal Government as part of a response to the Final Report of the National Ice Taskforce 2015 and the Neighbourhood Centre received a $10,000 grant from the ADF to facilitate a community consultation process.
"This project focuses on harvesting evidence of community needs in order to analyse and report on primary prevention strategies,” Ms Fisher said.
"Providing a vehicle for community to have a voice and contribute throughout the consultation process is our priority.
"At the conclusion of this project we aim to provide data and key evidence, which then facilitates our ability to apply for further funding in order to move to the implementation phase.”
She said the survey had been created by key stakeholders and distributed to inter-agency networks across the Southern Downs, via newsletters, in hard copy and cards, to doctors, pharmacies, the council, retailers, the library and cafes.
"Our goal is to flood the market for a two-week period, so that every time somebody buys a coffee or uses a service they are introduced to one of these cards,” Ms Fisher said.
She said surveys, to be completed with parental consent, were also being offered to the high schools and one key question would ask students about "protective factors” surrounding drug and alcohol use.
The online and hard copy forms for the general public ask seven questions relating to a person's experience and what they think about protective factors or "the things that help people stay safe, healthy and well in this community” and the risk factors that can influence alcohol and drug use.
She said the survey results would help identify which age groups should be targeted in regards to new prevention strategies.
"We're talking about access to the things that help us feel connected to our peers, our family and our community and access to health and wellness services,” Ms Fisher said.
"To have support to stay in school, to have access to opportunity and services that support us to feel safe and well. And the things that give us a sense of purpose.”
She said the forms would also give people the chance to provide feedback and recommendations.
Ms Fisher said the survey would take a few minutes to complete and she was hoping for at least 500 responses.
"Someone out there in our community has a great idea, an idea that could be launched this year,” she said.
"Our locals are our community experts, they have the wisdom and experience about what works and this is why it's so important we begin this conversation.”
The survey results will provide data not currently available in the region and the results will help with future grant applications for improving services on the Granite Belt.