Addiction Counsellor Busy In Hanover
A new addiction counsellor in the Hanover School Division is filling a need in local schools. Daniel Dacombe is an Addictions Foundation of Manitoba
Counsellor who works in the Youth School Based Services Division. He has been working in Hanover Schools since August and notes even though it's a new position in Hanover, his days are starting to fill up with a growing client list. Dacombe reports there are some very self aware students in this division and many of them are wiling to talk about their substance use.
He says there is a definite need here in the Southeast. Many other school divisions in Manitoba have had youth school based services in their schools for some time and he believes Hanover is taking a step in the right direction by taking this on. Dacombe reports it's been a very supportive division to be in and there has been a lot of good contact with administration and other people in the division.
He explains AFM partners with schools across the province with a goal to encourage the early identification and referral of students who are experiencing problems related to their alcohol or drug use. AFM offers several different services in the school. They do prevention education which is going into classrooms and talking to students about alcohol and other drugs and their effects on the brain. It's done matter-of-factly without using scare tactics or any kind of in your face messages. Instead, they present the information and allow students to make choices.
Dacombe also does assessment of students dealing with alcohol or drug issues and there is a treatment counselling option where Dacombe counsels youth in his office. He also does referral. If someone needs additional care they may get referred to AFM's residential treatment program called Compass. He also does consulting with school division administration, guidance counsellors and teachers on alcohol and other drug issues.
The first step is building a relationship with the student who is willing to talk about their use. Dacombe says many of these young people are curious about their use, what it might be doing to them and for them and they are looking for information. Others are coming for help or they are concerned about someone else's use.
If a parent, relative or friend is concerned about a young person's use you can contact AFM at the Winnipeg office, call him at the school or get in touch with the community based AFM office in Steinbach. You can get information, make a referral or encourage the young person to get in contact with them. Dacombe notes they try to be pretty non-threatening and are not out to scare anybody away.
Dacombe has an undergraduate degree in Social Sciences and is working on his Graduate degree in Counselling Psychology. He has worked with teenagers for the past six years and feels pretty comfortable with the age group.