Dunlea Alcohol and Other Drugs Youth Service

August 23, 2015

Young people at risk are often alienated from their family school and community. This makes it harder to deal with substance abuse issues. We can help.

Dunlea Alcohol and Other Drugs Youth Service helps young people aged 13-19 who want to take control of their drug use.

Some young people come to Dunlea when they find themselves using marijuana on weekends or are caught up in binge drinking cycles. Other young people who use our service might have been injecting heroin for prolonged periods, or may be living with mental illnesses as a result of or addition to their substance abuse.

Regardless of the young person’s relationship with alcohol and other drugs, our client-centered approach means we work to fit with the young person and their individual needs.

Where we start

When a young person is referred to Dunlea, our drug and alcohol workers conduct an initial assessment. Often this first meeting is an opportunity for staff to provide information about harm minimization and to gauge the young person’s relationship with alcohol and other drugs.

Our drug and alcohol workers will assess how they might approach case-management for the young person. Once the assigned case manager has met with the young person, a judgment of suitability to attend our Wednesday Day Program will be made, and an invitation extended to the young person if found suitable.

If the young person is outside of our age bracket, or are found to be better fitted to an alternate program, Dunlea will support the individual in making a referral to a service that is better suited to cater to their needs.

wednesday day program

The Wednesday Day Program runs throughout the school calendar, and occasionally during the school holidays if requested, Wednesdays from 10:30am to 2:00pm. This program is aimed at building life skills for the individuals already engaged in case management with Dunlea. Individual case-management and counselling sessions may be carried out during the course of the day, to better suit young people who may be busy throughout the week or struggle to make appointments. The Wednesday Day Program is a free service funded by the Department of Health, through WentWest.

This program has been developed by the Dunlea Team at Youth Off The Streets, with the incorporation of psychoeducation and harm minimization techniques. We engage young people in alternating group activities that aim to educate our young people, developing skills in managing life’s challenges, building coping strategies, promoting creativity, developing healthy relationships and team work skills whilst doing so.

At Dunlea, we’ve found that exercise can lead to a sense of accomplishment, assisting our young people with improved health, feeling stronger and increasing confidence to stay clean or sober. This is why our Wednesday Day Program transports our youth to the gym, where they can work out alongside the Dunlea team, with assistance and coaching of trained professionals. Youth involved in the Wednesday Day Program become registered members of this gym and can attend as frequently as they wish outside of the program.

Family support

When a young person is dealing with drug and alcohol problems, their families often need support too. Our family caseworker can provide individual and group support to the families of participants, supporting them to support their young person.

Our counsellor 

Our qualified counsellor is available to all young people involved with the Dunlea program.

Counselling sessions are scheduled to suit the needs of the individual client, occurring weekly or more prolonged, depending on the young person.

If other commitments prevent young people from attending appointments outside of the Wednesday Day Program, our counsellor can organize for sessions within the Day Program, upon request.

Dunlea has referral pathways to psychiatrists and health services for young people who require intensive support.

Dunlea in the community

Schools and community support programs are available upon request. Dunlea’s staff are always happy and available to discuss youth alcohol and other drug related issues with members of the community.

The community helps us too. We work with a roster of regular community volunteers to provide recreational activities for young people in the program.

Dunlea has been accredited by the Australian Council of Health Care Standards and is funded by the Department of Health, through WentWest.

Do you think you could benefit from dunlea?

If you or someone you know needs drug and alcohol support, contact us at Dunlea Monday to Friday between 8am and 4pm.

T: 02 9721 5714


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