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ID: HR23-294
Presenting author: Simon Williams

Presenting author biography:

Simon Williams is Knowledge and Learning Lead at Mainline Foundation, Amsterdam. Since 2018, Simon has investigated mental health responses for people who use stimulant drugs across Europe, Asia and Australia. Simon has harvested these lessons into a learning path, which can be tailored to different contexts.

Workshop: Community-based mental health support for people who use stimulants

Simon Williams

Workshop content

This interactive workshop will equip participants with knowledge and skills to begin to apply community-based mental health interventions for people who use stimulants. The workshop will provide insight on how to tailor this support to fit the ranging contexts of the workshop participants. To reach the outcome of being ready to begin to apply community-based mental health support, it will be necessary to cover the following content:

- What is mental wellbeing? (Physical vs mental wellbeing)
- The relationship between stimulant use and mental wellbeing (myths and stigmas, a demonstration on the long-term effects of dopamine on the brain)
- Stressors and coping (Introduction to healthy coping mechanisms)
- Introduction to community-based support
- Community support intervention 1: Scaling as a method of screening
- Community support intervention 2: Eat, sleep, drink repeat

Participants will also be provided with a take-away pack detailing further interventions.

Learning objectives

Learning aim:

- Begin to offer context specific community-based support to people who use stimulants

Through achievement of the following objectives:

- Define mental wellbeing, and its relationship with the use of stimulants
- Explain the role of healthy coping strategies when dealing with stressors
- Begin to apply community-based mental health support for people who use stimulants

Expected outcomes

The use of stimulant (NP) substances is increasing around the world. This workshop will equip participants with a greater insight into the relationship between stimulants and mental wellbeing, which in turn will facilitate a process for them to begin to offer low threshold, accessible support to people who use stimulant substances. This practical support will be able to be offered by ground-based staff directly in the field without the need of a psychologist or counsellor, thus empowering people who use stimulants with more insight and control over their state of mind.