SMART Recovery Australia provides professional training courses for peers and professionals wanting to become SMART Recovery facilitators and start new meetings within organisations or the community. Last week, SMART Recovery Australia Area Coordinator David Hunt travelled to Adelaide to conduct a two-day training workshop for staff from several key drug and alcohol service providers wanting to adopt the SMART Recovery program as part of their offering.
When and where was your training held?
David: This SMART Recovery Facilitator Training took place at SACOSS (South Australian Council of Social Service) in Unley, Adelaide, on the 29th and 30th of October.
Which organisations were involved?
David: We had nine people on the training this time, from different backgrounds. Trainees who attended worked at the Salvation Army (Salvation Army currently has SMART Recovery meetings in NSW and TAS), Drug Arm (Drug Arm in QLD currently runs the SMART program), Life Without Barriers (which already runs the SMART program at several South Australian agencies) and also one attendee works in a non-healthcare profession.
What do these organisations do/specialise in?
David: Most of the people at this training currently work in the Alcohol and other drugs (AOD) sector. One attendee specialised in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients, whilst another was working in a remote region of South Australia.
Why did they choose SMART?
David: Some of those who attended the training have experience of running groups in the sector, for some it was a new challenge. Everyone however wanted to get involved in mutual aid, and to start empowering people to help each other.
How is the SMART Recovery program going to be implemented?
David: Some of the organisations attending have already got SMART Recovery groups running in their area, and coming on the training means that they will be another invaluable helping hand, bringing their own experience and skills. Others had been involved in SMART Recovery a little in the past but never quite started a group. It is hoped that this will change soon! One attendee who came all the way from Western Australia for the training has plans to set up a new group there soon too!
How kind of addiction problems are they experiencing in the area?
David: There was no doubt that alcohol is still a big problem in the area. However, some of the group talked about coming across significant problems with cannabis and methamphetamine.
Do you expect to return to the area for further training?
David: I have been out in Adelaide many times in 2015 to run training and I shall most definitely be back soon in 2016! South Australia as a whole has responded really positively to mutual-aid and SMART Recovery in particular. The big jump in the number of groups there in 2015 is a real credit to this enthusiasm but is just the start!
What the attendees had to say about the training:
“It gave me real group experience and demonstrated what skills are required of a facilitator.”
“Great overview of what the group is, and what it’s not.”
“I feel confident in my ability to facilitate a SMART Recovery Group.”
“The pre-training provided clarification on what to expect at the training and a good overview of the training content.’
“I found the interactive nature of the training and role plays most useful.”
“There was good clarification of the tools used in SMART groups.”
There are currently nine SMART Recovery groups in South Australia. You can find your nearest SMART Recovery meeting here.