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Youth Solutions regularly engages with young people through qualitative research.

The purpose of our research program is to ensure that young people are actively involved in the design of project content and it also provides a platform for young people to be advocating for their own support needs around alcohol and other drugs.

Youth Solutions’ research program is supported by a broader research advisory group made up of members from the University of Sydney and Western Sydney University. This collaborative working group was created in late 2018 to assist Youth Solutions in increasing it’s research capacity.

Thank you to our Research Advisory Committee and research volunteers Steve Loomes and Joseph Abdo.

Previous Projects

Youth Justice Project

This project involved qualitative focus groups with 30 young people currently transitioning through the NSW Youth Justice System about the substances that have caused them concern and the socio-cultural factors that have shaped their involvement in drug use. We are currently working on another paper for publication which we hope will support the AOD sector in providing support and advocacy for vulnerable youth populations.

Funding Declaration: SWSLHD Drug Health Services, University of Wollongong.

Publication: Deans, E, Ravulo J, Conroy, E & Abdo, A 2022, ‘A qualitative study exploring young offender’s perspectives on alcohol and other drug health promotion’, BMC Public Health, vol. 22, no. 586

Youth Perspectives Project

A total of 45 participants were recruited to support Youth Solutions’ ongoing commitment to understanding the needs of service users.

Funding Declaration: Western Sydney University, SWSLHD Drug Health Services

Funding Declaration: Camden Council

Publication: Deans, E, Ravulo, J, Blignault, I & Conroy, E 2020, ‘Understanding the needs of local youth to inform drug and alcohol prevention and harm reduction services: A qualitative study’, Health Promotion Journal of Australia, DOI: 10.1002/hpja.393

Report: Understanding the alcohol and other drug needs of young people living in Camden

LGBTQIA+ Youth Perspective

This project involved qualitative interviews with 15 young people recruited from the LGBTQIA+ community about the appropriateness of alcohol and other drug prevention and harm reduction resources. The findings from this research study were used to develop a video resource for use in our health education workshops. The video focuses on the drug cannabis, providing helpful harm reduction information for young people in our community. The resource also highlights the warning signs for us to watch for that might indicate a friend or family member is developing a tolerance to cannabis.

Funding Declaration: The AURORA Group 

Want to access the free educational resource? Contact us for further information. 

DAYS Project

Youth Solutions and Drug and Alcohol Youth Service (DAYS) represent two youth services working within the AOD sector in South Western Sydney; a unique partnership which has worked to bridge the gap between prevention (Youth Solutions) and treatment (DAYS). Both services are committed to understanding the needs of their service users and recognise the value in tracking a young person’s journey through the AOD treatment system. The purpose of this research project was to understand through qualitative inquiry the barriers and enablers of effective service provision and how we can better support and provide for the young people accessing support for alcohol and other drug issues.  The team interviewed 19 young people and 5 parents and carers who were navigating the AOD treatment system and are working towards publication in an academic journal.

Funding Declaration: SWSLHD Drug Health Services

Current Projects

Pasifika Project

The purpose of this research project is to understand through qualitative inquiry the socio-cultural factors that shape mental health help seeking behaviours among Pacific young people, a growing cultural group in South Western Sydney. The intended outcome is the creation of new knowledge to guide AOD and mental health community services in designing resources and approaches that are influenced and shaped by Pacific perspectives. The team have conducted 9 focus groups with a total of 27 Pasifika young people and are now working towards publication and resource development.

Funding Declaration: SWSLHD Drug Health Services

Lived Experience Project

This project will engage with young people with lived experience of substance use and/or mental health concerns, along with parents and carers, in considering the unique challenges in accessing care and engaging with services. We hope that this may lead to new insights and innovations in service provision and potential community-oriented solutions. Presently, we have 5 lived experience researchers who are leading the project. Watch this space!

Funding Declaration: Community Mental Health, Drug & Alcohol Research Network

Project Collaborations

Research Capacity Project

Youth Solutions is committed to working collaboratively with others to build the research capacity of the of alcohol and other drug (AOD) non-profit sector. This project mapped and explored the existing research capacity across public local health district (LHD) and non-government organisation (NGO) AOD services in New South Wales.

Stirling, R, Hudson, S, Ross, J, Deans, E, Tibbetts, J, Day, C, Deacon, R, Dunlop, A & Lintzeris, N 2023, ‘Understanding the research capacity of alcohol and other drugs services in New South Wales, Australia’,

Our Research Advisory Committee

Want to learn more about the brains behind our research? We could not complete these vital research projects without the support and contributions of our committee.

Learn more
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