The Local Drug Action Team (LDAT), a primary prevention program to empower communities to identify and respond to the issues of alcohol harms, and funded by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF), is an Australia wide program to involve various communities. Since February 2019, 244 LDATs have been set up across Australia. IndianCare is running two LDATs, one in the western suburbs and second in south eastern suburbs, due to large numbers of people from the Indian community in these regions.
IndianCare and community partners have together designed solutions to create awareness on risky drinking. This includes informing people about the effects and the harms associated with the use of drugs and alcohol, helping people to reduce stress in their lives, and developing safe environments that reduce the risk of drug and alcohol use.
IndianCare community partners in western LDAT include the Brothers and Sisters Foundation, Wyndham Social Cricket League and Club 60 Tarneit. In the south, they have partnered with SEWA and the Indian Seniors Citizen Association of Casey and Bellfield Cricket Club.
Partner organisations include Australian Multicultural Community Services Inc and Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre Inc.
“Some sessions of the Indian community have cultural practices that make it normal to drink at risky levels. Most Indians in Vic are recent migrants and can bring these habits along with them. It can worsen here due to the easy availability of alcohol, cheap prices and peer pressure. We are focusing on youth and seniors,” says Gagan Sohi, LDAT project worker at IndianCare Inc.
“We are working on six programs for the members of our community partners. Conversational English classes to enhance their English language ability to building knowledge, self-worth and social connections in their locality to reduce isolation. Because language barrier can limit capacity to socialise. We are running 10 sessions of English classes in both LDATs,” says Sohi.
“Senior outings are also being held to increase the awareness of the benefits of a strong and connected community on their physical, mental and social wellbeing and increased social connections. We have arranged three YMCA outings for 75 seniors from our community partners Club 60 Tarneit, SEWA and Indian Seniors Citizen Association of Casey.”
LDAT and IndianCare also host workshops on family resilience and managing migration stress. These are interactive information sessions with young people to increase confidence in addressing early migration stresses and improve family cohesion and increased communication and conflict-resolution skills.
“Work Readiness workshops will help young adults start their careers. The Healthy Lifestyle program provides access to eight information sessions for 20 at risk,” says Sohi.