Hon Graham Jacobs MBBS FRACGP MLA

Hon Graham Jacobs MBBS FRACGP MLA

Former Minister for Water; Mental Health

    Parent Drug Information Service volunteers celebrate 10 years

    5/11/2009 1:00 AM

    More than 100 Western Australian parents have been recognised for their volunteer work in helping other parents affected by their children’s drug or alcohol use, Mental Health Minister Graham Jacobs said today.


    The Volunteer Support Network was set up by the Parent Drug Information Service (PDIS) 10 years ago, after parents reported they would benefit from speaking to other parents who had been through similar experiences.


    PDIS provides a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week confidential telephone counselling service for parents struggling to cope with their child’s substance use.  As part of PDIS, the volunteer network is available 14-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.


    Dr Jacobs thanked the PDIS volunteer network for 10 years of valuable community service, at a dinner held at Government House last night.


    “The parents who volunteer with PDIS have been through the challenges and pressures associated with their own child’s drug or alcohol use, so they can offer empathy gained from real experience,” he said.


    “They have suffered the same feelings of shame and isolation and the undermining of confidence that comes from the family structure being threatened and have chosen to use those difficult experiences to help others.”


    PDIS is funded by the Drug and Alcohol Office (DAO), which provides a staff member to recruit, train and supervise the network’s volunteers. 


    Acting executive director at DAO, Eric Dillon, said the volunteers offered confidential support by listening, sharing information and discussing practical coping strategies.


    “Parents can choose to speak to a professional counsellor, a volunteer parent, or both, giving them the support network they may not have otherwise,” Mr Dillon said.


    “It is very much about engaging with and involving parents at a grassroots level, and linking State-wide services and parent initiatives together.”


    Parents concerned about their child’s substance use can telephone PDIS on 9442 5050 or the toll-free number 1800 653 203.


    Minister's office - 9213 6900