Help others beat addiction

Drug and alcohol workforce development branch manager Sue Helfgott (left) with Clare Stevens, a past volunteer now a senior officer. d416791
Drug and alcohol workforce development branch manager Sue Helfgott (left) with Clare Stevens, a past volunteer now a senior officer. d416791

This has resulted in about 600 volunteers providing regular counselling with support agencies since 1989.

The program, in collaboration with the National Drug Research Institute and community drug and alcohol support services, is again seeking volunteers.

Workforce development branch manager Suzanne Helfgott said a variety of people were needed.

‘We often have students, social workers, psychologists, nurses, lawyers and doctors apply,’ she said.

‘People who have had an issue with drug and alcohol in the past but have not had recent issues, are able to apply and often have a lot to contribute.’

Ms Helfgott said candidates with a strong interest in the sector,who were non-judgemental, compassionate, warm and had good listening skills made good counsellors.

Volunteers undergo four months of intensive counsellor training and are then connected with a drug and alcohol support service on a 12-month counselling placement.

Former counsellor Clare Stevens who now works with the Drug and Alcohol Office as a senior workforce development officer, said the comprehensive training sparked her interest in the field. Call 9370 0347 for more details.