Valued SMART friends, allies, and partners the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council recently published a story on their own website discussing SMART Recovery Australia’s online facilitator training and its practical value.

In the story, Natasha Hunt, Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Drug and Alcohol Caseworker at Armajun Aboriginal Health Service in Inverell, goes in depth into her experience of the SMART Recovery Australia online training. Highlights for her included:

  • “Helping clients self-manage their journey through recovery as each client’s situation is unique. Using these skills, I will be able to provide a safe space and a holistic approach to healing.” 
  • “How to support clients in building and maintaining motivation, cope with urges and cravings and problem solve using CBT techniques including facilitating healthy non-judgmental conversations on how to attain a healthy lifestyle balance.” 
  • “I score the online SMART Recovery Training 10/10 and highly recommend!”

The AH&MRC assists the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) across NSW to ensure they have access to an adequately resourced and skilled workforce to provide high-quality health care services for Aboriginal communities. The Council was established in 1985 in recognition of Aboriginal community control as crucial in laying the foundation for a better standard of health care for Aboriginal people. One role recommended for the AH&MRC was to advise Ministers for Health & Aboriginal Affairs at State and Federal levels on Aboriginal health policy, programs and needs.

Related to this is some fantastic research undertaken by Liz Dale, a highly respected member of the SRAU Research Advisory Committee. Liz submitted ‘A Mixed Methods Yarn About SMART Recovery: First Insights from Australian Aboriginal Facilitators and Group Members’ to Drug and Alcohol Review. Liz is currently completing her PhD, which focuses on the cultural appropriateness of SMART Recovery for Indigenous Australians. This is comprised of three key studies:

  • A systematic review of mutual support for Indigenous communities internationally (published, see below)
  • Observations and interviews with group members/facilitators of Aboriginal specific SMART Recovery groups (submitted for publication, see above)
  • A consensus study focused on reviewing the SMART Recovery Indigenous manual (forthcoming).

You can read more about Liz’s cutting edge research here. We are enormously grateful to Liz Dale and the AH&MRC for their amazing work with SMART Recovery Australia.

There is a SMART meeting run by Uniting Communities Aboriginal CC every Friday at 1.00pm. You can check that out here.