“Women & Addiction”

By cypscadmin, Thursday, 28th December 2023 | 0 comments
Filed under: Health, Family Support, Education.

Over 250 delegates attended a HSE Social Inclusion Community Healthcare Cavan-Donegal-Leitrim-Monaghan-Sligo (CH CDLMS) Regional Conference.

The theme of the conference was: “Women & Addiction: Exploring the underlying factors and considering the children impacted, how can we support and safeguard?"

This conference was a collaboration with key partners including the Health Service Executive, Donegal CYPSC Domestic Abuse Working Group, An Garda Síochána, Donegal Domestic Violence Service and North West Regional Drug & Alcohol Task Force.

Compere for the event was Donna McGee, Addiction Services Lead at the Health Service Executive.

Guest speakers included :

  • Dr. Katriona O'Sullivan, best selling author of her debut autobiography “Poor” and  a recent guest on The Late Late Show.  Dr. O'Sullivan gave an insight into how she was able to survive and succeed in life by being believed and given the right opportunities and supports.
  • Emma Murphy, Domestic Violence Survivor and Campaigner, spoke of the risks to women who try to leave domestic violence situations, and the impact on the woman and children.  
  • Detective Sergeant Laura Sweeney, National Protective Services, An Garda Síochána gave an overview of their services and the challenges, including some recent cases. 
  • HSE Assistant Director of Nursing, Cora Mc Aleer, gave a synopsis of addiction services support and how to access these supports.
  • Dr. Marie Hainsworth, Manager of Donegal Domestic Violence Service discussed “Domestic Abuse and Alcohol”, and how as a collective we have a responsibility to engage with those with vulnerabilities in a cohesive and collaborative manner.  

Patricia Garland, Social Inclusion Manager at  Community Healthcare CDLMS said,

“Women with addiction face unique challenges in the areas of stigma, trauma, co-occurring disorders, gender inequalities and motherhood.  As such the Community Healthcare Social Inclusion Department were proud to host this inter-sectoral gathering to make a positive difference in the journey of women with addiction.”

Detective Inspector Siobhan Mollahan said, “Several members of An Garda Síochána attended this excellent event on Women and Addiction, including members of the Divisional Protective Services Unit, Community & Regular Policing unit members as well as the Juvenile Liaison Officer.  All members took learning from the lived experiences of the speakers who spoke frankly of their personal experiences as well as from the valuable inputs from the HSE Addiction Services, Donegal Domestic Violence Services and the Garda National Domestic Abuse Unit. The Gardaí who attended this event will share the learning with colleagues and will be in a better position to support and empathise with women and their families who are experiencing addiction and the long and short term effects of addiction and associated issues, including domestic abuse and coercive control.”

Cathal Grant, Tusla Prevention, Partnership and Family Support Senior Manager for Cavan and Monaghan said, "We were delighted to be part of the Regional Conference.  The collaboration between Tusla, the HSE, and our community and voluntary partners is key to better outcomes for children and families.  In Cavan and Monaghan we look forward to continuing this partnership in 2024 with exciting opportunities in the development of programmes such as Circle of Security and Parents Under Pressure (PUP).  I congratulate the organising committee on an excellent, thoughtful and challenging conference that should motivate us all to work collaboratively for Women in Addiction.”

Maura Gillen, HSE General Manager, Primary Care, Donegal noted that

“It was a humbling experience to attend this conference, and a lesson in gratitude; it was developed and delivered by experts in their fields. It showed us in the room that adversity can be overcome with supports and encouragement. The message from all of the speakers on the day was to be that one person who makes the difference. Congratulations to the organisers and thanks to those that attended for the day and remained engaged.”

Visit Donegal CYPSC Local Resources page.

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