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The Skills and Knowledge Exchange Project for Drug and Alcohol Helplines has started

The Skills and Knowledge Exchange Project for Drug and Alcohol Helplines has started

In the beginning of 2017 the project “Skills and Knowledge Exchange Project for Drug and Alcohol Helplines”, funded by the European program for education, training, youth and sport (Erasmus +), started. The project is under Key action 2: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices, Activity: Strategic partnerships for vocational education and training. The duration of the project is 20 months.

The participants are eight Drug and Alcohol Helplines from Ireland (Drugs/HIV Helpline), Belgium (VAD, De DrugLijn), Bulgaria (ARZ Solidarnost/Fracarita Bulgaria, National Drugs, Alcohol and Gambling Helpline), Portugal (SICAD), Cyprus (PERSEAS), Norway (RUStelefonen), The Netherlands (Trimbos Instituut), and Germany (Basis eV.), and also The Training Exchange Ltd, UK – a company specialized in training and consultancy services in the sphere of mental health, social care and addiction to alcohol and drugs.

The objectives of the project are related to some of the needs of the Helpline workers, which were identified with the help of two questionnaires distributed in advance by FESAT (European Foundation of drug helplines,

-    Topic 1: Helpline skills for New workers; Seasoned workers and burn-out prevention;
-    Topic 2: New Psychoactive Substances and the challenges for Helplines;
-    Topic 3: Drug and Alcohol Helplines and Mental Health/ Dual Diagnosis.

The workers of the partner Drug and Alcohol Helplines will attend three Transnational Learning Exchange Meetings, with the specific aim of increasing their skills on the three key topics and facilitating knowledge exchange. What has been learned during the meetings will be used to create curriculae for training of the teams of the partner organizations on each topic.

As an end result, these curriculae for continued vocational education and training for Helpline workers will be published in the Internet resources of the projects partners in order to be available and used freely by other Drug and Alcohol Helplines as well as other similar services in Europe and beyond.

On 27-28 March 2017, the Kick-off meeting was held in Lisbon, Portugal. During that time, the partners created the schedules and agendas for the three Transnational Learning Exchange Meetings and discussed their specific tasks for the project.