Hidden victims of the ice epidemic

Committee keen to see more help being offered
UNITED APPROACH: Wangaratta Ice Steering Committee members (from left) Superintendent Paul O’Halloran, Andrew Bowden (project coordinator Sport North East) and Felicity Williams (chief executive officer at The Centre) compiling ideas for a funding submission to the Local Drug Action Team initiative. PHOTO: Emma Hillier

DE-STIGMATISING ‘ice’ addiction and its impact on families will be a priority for the Wangaratta Ice Steering Committee in 2017.

“We want to put a human face to the ice issue through people telling their own stories on what they have experienced,” committee member Felicity Williams told the Wangaratta Chronicle.

“Ice does not discriminate – these families are just like you and me, the only difference is that they will be experiencing significant distress and need our support as a community.

“If we can de-stigmatise the problem for the families affected so they can feel that they can talk about their problems they are more likely to come forward and seek support.”

Ms Williams said coordinating all the local support services to offer easier access for those seeking assistance and to strategically position Wangaratta for funding were the primary reasons the committee was established in 2015.

She said education and prevention is another key priority for the committee and its member organisations.

The committee plans to apply for funding from the $19.2 million Local Drug Action Team initiative announced just before Christmas by Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley.

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