Community News- Mar 2021

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Community News- Mar 2021

SMART Recovery meetings to launch locally

Whether it’s dependence on alcohol, drugs or gambling, SMART Recovery Australia is set to launch free group meetings locally for individuals wanting to take control of addictive behaviours.

Meeting Time: 4th February, 5.30 pm
Meeting Location:
Counselling Services, 13 Pritchard St
03 5033 9880 to register your interest

What is SMART Recovery?

SMART Recovery (Self Management and Recovery Training) is a global group-based program using evidence-based tools to help people help each other manage addictive behaviours.

SMART Recovery provides people with all addictive behaviours with an evidence-based mutual aid program that offers people the tools to create a life beyond addiction at free weekly support group meetings, both either face-to-face and online.

The program was established in the US in 1994, has been operating in Australia for well over a decade. There are now over 350 meetings across Australia and New Zealand, including over 75 online meetings and imminent plans to grow these further.

About the meetings

  • Free and inclusive to people challenged by any type of addiction (e.g. substances, gambling, internet, sex).
  • 90 minutes in duration.
  • Groups usually range from 5-15 attendees.
  • Participants may attend if they are still using but cannot come intoxicated to the group.
  • Guided by a holistic approach located in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) principles and tools, and focused on practical solutions located in the ‘here and now’.
  • Each participant has an opportunity to determine their own goals and derive ideas on how to achieve them.
  • Group members help each other to set realistic and achievable goals.
  • Groups run by professionals will identify potential peer ‘champions’ who then go on to co-facilitate, and eventually run groups themselves. 

SMART Recovery Australia

SMART Recovery Australia is a non-profit organisation whose vision is to make the SMART Recovery programme accessible to everyone across Australia.

First successfully piloted at St Vincent’s Hospital in 2004, there are currently over 300 SMART Recovery groups held weekly in Australia and New Zealand, facilitated by a combination of professionals and peers (people recovering from addictive behaviours).

SMART Recovery Australia is committed to the program adapting as scientific knowledge evolves, and has a robust research advisory committee to provide ongoing research input to the program.

Power of choice
SMART Recovery Australia embraces a harm minimisation philosophy, which views control over one’s addictive behaviour as an achievement. Abstinence is not the only way to recover from addiction.

“If someone who drinks for seven days a week is able to change to drinking five or six days, that’s success,” says Josette Freeman, SMART Recovery Australia’s National Program Coordinator.

“Some people will say, ‘I really shouldn’t be here – I only have two glasses of wine a day’, but if those two glasses are causing problems in your life, you’re in the same situation as someone who uses a gram of heroin a day,” says Freeman.

For more information:

Ryan McGlaughlin

Executive Director

SMART Recovery Australia

Phone: +61 2 9373 5111



Swan Hill District Health Board Chair, Andrew Gilchrist has officially launched the Swan Hill District Health Strategic Plan 2021-2024 on behalf of the Board of Directors.

The new plan is titled ‘Leading with Purpose’ and has four key overarching strategies:

1. Delivering services that make a positive difference

2. Building a leading culture

3. Working together for improved performance

4. Creating environments for individuals to thrive

The Board of Directors, Executive team and staff at SHDH strongly believe that  Leading With Purpose Strategic Plan 2021-2024 will produce a range of benefits to our those who seek care from us and their families, staff, partners and community.

According to Mr Gilchrist, the next three years of this plan will see SHDH stepping up its role as a community and regional health service leader to enable better health experiences and outcomes for the community.

SHDH will continue to advocate for improved infrastructure and facilities, to upgrade and redevelop our buildings and infrastructure to ensure better access to safe, quality health care now and well into the future.

The Board of Directors are excited by the possibilities that lay ahead as they embark on this ambitious plan.

22nd May 2020

Welcome –Dr Sayeed Mohammed

Doctor Sayeed Mohammed joined the Swan Hill Primary Health Medical Centre (SHPHMC) this week as a General Practitioner. 

Passionate about primary care, Dr Mohammed is looking forward to serving the community in his new role.

A familiar face around town Dr Mohammed first moved to Swan Hill in 2015 and has worked at two other medical practices in the area.

Originally from a small town in South India Dr Mohammed said the Mallee feels just like home and he enjoys the work at a country practice.

Dr Mohammed completed his medical schooling in Ukraine, and also trained in emergency medicine, working in critical care for a year in India.

Dr Mohammed said his experience practicing in the Mallee has helped hone his skills as a GP.

He enjoys the broad spectrum of GP work, getting to know his patients and their different needs to tailor their medical care to each person. He also has a key interest in preventative care.