Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

Next open date for applications is 08.08.2017 View Grant Dates

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Case Study: YSAS (Youth Support and Advocacy Service)

ProjectNext generation youth ‘Alcohol and Drug’ services in Victoria

Amount$290,000 over two years


ProgramRegional Resilience (past program)

This grant was approved under our previous grants policy (Jan 2014 – March 2017)
Rural and regional Victoria Enable treatment providers across Victoria to incorporate the latest technology and new evidence-based interventions for drug problems into their services
Building organisational capacity Provide more effective services through a network of regional youth drug treatment leaders
Extending opportunity Facilitate easier access to drug treatment for young people and families in regional Victoria
Collaboration and partnership 32 Victorian youth drug treatment providers; Deakin University; Young and Well Collaborative Research Centre

Improving drug treatment services for young people in regional Victoria

Too many rural and regional young people are not accessing treatment for their drug and alcohol problems. Geographic barriers and concerns about anonymity are particular issues in small rural communities. YSAS is developing a multi-pronged service that combines: training, building a coordinated regional network, developing and piloting a new intervention for addictive behavior in partnership with Deakin University, and initiating a 24hr access point to real-time support and referral.

Image Angela Simpson, Dom Ennis, and Kate Hall (YSAS/Deakin Project Team)


  • YSAS and Deakin University are developing, piloting and evaluating the ERIC intervention (Emotion Regulation & Impulse Control), a structured, evidence-based intervention addressing the underlying issues that lead to addictive behaviour.
  • The ERIC intervention is being adapted for regional youth drug treatment services and for phone and/or internet-based delivery.
  • YSAS is coordinating and resourcing a network of regional practice leaders to build the capacity of youth drug treatment services in regional communities across Victoria.
  • Through YoDAA, (Youth Drug & Alcohol Advice), the YSAS online platform, a seamless 24-hour linking system will be created that enables Helpline services such as eheadspace and Directline to become access points for young people and their families seeking more intensive drug treatment in their local community.
  • The Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre will provide training and ongoing advice on how technologies can be utilised to improve therapeutic outcomes for young people in regional drug treatment services.
  • Project outcomes will be shared with all youth drug treatment organisations in Victoria, State and local governments, research centres and peak bodies in the youth, drug treatment and associated sectors.


“We wanted young people involved in the development process to ensure that ERIC addresses and is relevant to their needs.” Dr Kate Hall, Deakin University