New campaign to address risky drinking behaviours amongst LBQ women in regional Victoria

VAC VicHealth Alcohol Culture Change InitiativeThe Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) will be leading a two-year project to address potentially risky drinking behaviours amongst lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ) women living in regional Victoria through VicHealth’s Alcohol Culture Change Initiative.

Aimed to increase social support for low-risk drinking and reduce the impact of alcohol, the project will receive over $200,000 to develop and implement a health promotion campaign aimed at creating a culture of support and encouragement to reduce risky drinking in four regional areas of Victoria including Bendigo, Ballarat, Morwell, and Geelong.

“We know that one-size doesn’t fit all – Victoria is a diverse state with many drinking cultures,” says VicHealth CEO, Jerril Rechter. “These new projects will target groups of people most likely to drink at risky levels.”

The project aims to establish focus groups from its four key regional centres to consult in the development of a social marketing campaign. Furthermore, the project will work closely with LBQ women’s community networks and health service providers in regional settings and raise awareness of risky behaviours and support pathways.

“We know that drinking behaviours amongst same sex attracted women pose considerable risks to their ongoing health and wellbeing,” says VAC CEO, Simon Ruth. “This funding will allow us to expand upon our existing services to reach those women in regional centres, and challenge some assumed social norms and attitudes around drinking by encouraging positive behaviour change and peer support.”

“As a community-led organisation, lesbian, bisexual, and queer women have played an important role in VAC’s work since it’s very founding. That tradition will carry on as this project aims to understand and influence the values, attitudes and beliefs of LBQ women and their support networks of friends, family, and co-workers,” said Ruth.

Rechter added, “This initiative is about people socially supporting one another to reduce high risk drinking, resulting in reduced harm for themselves, their family and friends, those in the vicinity and the broader community.”

For more information on VicHealth’s Alcohol Change Initiative, visit: www.vichealth.vic.gov.au for details.

Image: courtesy of VicHealth

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