Dr Steph Kershaw is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney.
Steph will be speaking at the 2019 International Mental Health Conference, where she will share how the Cracks in the Ice online toolkit and mobile app were developed and the positive impact they have had on Australians who are looking for information on how to better respond to people affected by crystal methamphetamine (‘ice’).
Digital health initiatives have the ability to overcome structural, geographical and attitudinal barriers to drug and mental health problems and the prevention of these issues both within Australia and globally. Cracks in the Ice uses digital platforms aim to provide trusted, evidence-based, up-to-date information about ice to the Australian community. The toolkit also contains a library of resources to help families, communities and health professionals better respond to people affected by ice.
Families and friends can play a critical role in the recovery of people who might be experiencing problems with ice (or other drugs). The family and friends section provides information about helping a loved one who may be using ice, including tips for starting a conversation, how to protect yourself and where to get additional support.
The community toolkit section has been developed to connect communities with practical, actionable information and tools to run a forum and inform your community about the harms associated with ice use and how to address this problem.
Health professionals are well placed to identify patients or clients who they suspect may be using ice. These frontline workers can make a big difference as they are often their patients or clients most trusted source of information. The Cracks in the Ice toolkit for health professionals has easily accessible resources including screening tools, guidelines, quick tips and telephone advisory services for medical practitioners and allied health workers to support managing patients and clients.
Cracks in the Ice also has free booklets and brochures which can be ordered online and delivered anywhere in Australia free of charge. For more information or to order free resources visit the Cracks in the Ice website at cracksintheice.org.au or contact Dr Steph Kershaw via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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