New drug and alcohol support available in Derry

The Start360 will open in Derry city centre next month.

The Start360 will open in Derry city centre next month.

The Public Health Agency (P.H.A.) has commissioned a range of comprehensive drug and alcohol support services for children, young people, and their families, in the Western Health and Social Care Trust (W.H.S.C.T.) area.

These therapeutic services are delivered by Start360 and ASCERT.

D.A.I.S.Y., the ‘Drug and Alcohol Intervention Service for Youth’ operates across the W.H.S.C.T. area, working with children and young people up to age 25, who are misusing drugs and alcohol and need support to reduce harm.

Local staff in both Start360 (formerly Opportunity Youth) and ASCERT have been providing youth treatment services in the W.H.S.C.T. area for over eight years

Start360 have offices in Derry city centre, Omagh town centre and Enniskillen town centre.

“VOICES (helping children and young people cope with hidden harm) has been in place since July 2015, for children and young people who are impacted by parental or other adult substance misuse.

“We are delighted to have been able to transfer local staff into this new service from our own and other agencies, such as DIVERT,” said a Start360 spokesperson.

“Both DAISY and VOICES work with the whole family, offering a range of support both individually and in groups.”

Marie Wright from Start360 said, “We are delighted that we are able, with the support of the P.H.A., to continue supporting children and young people with substance misuse issues, whether they are misusing themselves or have been negatively impacted by their parent’s use. These are vital services and we have locally based, highly professional practitioners available to provide these.

Chris McMahon from ASCERT said: “It’s very easy to make a referral for a young person into DAISY from anywhere in the W.H.S.C.T. You can call any of our offices and we can guide you through the process. Or just complete our online referral forms and email them to daisy@ascert.biz. Our local staff are always happy to help and feel free to call for guidance on the best way to support any young person.”

Cathy Mullan from the Public Health Agency said, “The P.H.A. recognises that young people and families can be negatively affected by alcohol and drugs. The P.H.A. believes that there are effective services that can really make a difference to young people.”