Partner profile

Star Health

Silvia Violante
Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselling Coordinator - Star Health

What does Star Health do?
Star Health provides a wide range of medical, dental, allied health, mental health, family violence, counselling and drug and alcohol support to members of our community. We are currently located at four sites across Melbourne: Prahran, South Melbourne, St Kilda and Bentleigh. More specifically in the Drug and Alcohol field, Star Heath provides assessment, care coordination, counselling to individuals and families who are seeking to make positive changes in their lives.

How does SMART Recovery fit in?
SMART Recovery came to complement our already existing pool of services within our Alcohol and Other Drugs program. This provides an alternative to those who are not interested or may find difficult to engage in individual counselling and who are seeking a group support option that provides them with practical strategies. It also gives an opportunity to some of our existing clients who have more comprehensive care through individual support alongside attendance to SMART Recovery.

What does Star Health value about the SMART Recovery program?
Star Health has greatly benefited from running the SMART Recovery program. This has allowed us to increase visibility of our services to local members of the community, but also provide more comprehensive care to existing clients. Given that SMART is run on a weekly basis and there’s no strict entry point, it provides flexibility to clients to attend at any date that would be more suitable for them, but also gives them a wide array of self-management tools to their addictive behaviour.

How has COVID affected things and how have you had to adapt?
COVID made us realign our service delivery to remote/telehealth formats, this included the SMART Recovery Program. We have supported clients to adapt to these technology forms, with good client retention rates across our Counselling services. We also provided SMART Recovery online with good attendance.

Where would you like to take things next for Star Health in relation to the SMART Recovery program?
We would like to continue running our programs at our South Melbourne and Prahran sites. Ideally, continuing to expand our services depending on client demand.