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Moreland Hall Welcomes Extended Funding for Award Winning Alcohol Rehabilitation Program Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

Melbourne, VIC, 2nd May, 2012 – UnitingCare Moreland Hall, one of Victoria’s leading alcohol and other drugs agencies, today congratulated the Baillieu Government for its decision to continue funding the agency’s Catalyst Alcohol Community Rehabilitation Program.  The program, which has been widely recognised for its effectiveness in supporting long-term behavioural change and which won the 2011 National Drug and Alcohol Award for Excellence in Treatment Services will complete its three-year pilot phase next month.

Further Catalyst funding was officially confirmed at last night’s State Budget briefing by Minister Mary Wooldridge.  The announcement ensures that the groundbreaking program will continue to be available to Victorians seeking non-residential rehabilitation treatment for alcohol dependence for another four years.

Moreland Hall CEO, Laurence Alvis said:

This is a tremendous outcome for Moreland Hall and for Victorians affected by their own or a family members’ drinking. In the space of three years, we have been able to develop a new approach to alcohol rehabilitation and demonstrate its success in enabling significant and ongoing changes in people’s lives.  We acknowledge the difficulty for the Government in committing to new funding in the context of its stated intention to cut costs in the 2012/13 budget, but Catalyst is really a program that couldn’t be denied.

There are never any guarantees with publicly funded services, but such has been the success of Catalyst in supporting individual and family transformations that it would have been a tragedy if we were no longer able to provide it to people in need.  The fact the program has been refunded in such a tight budget shows that it is recognised as providing great value for program participants and the Victorian taxpayer.

Continuing Catalyst funding is a clear win-win for the Baillieu Government.  As well as supporting a more immediate integration of new skills into people’s daily lives, the community-based model is a significantly more cost-effective treatment option than capital and staff-intensive residential programs.

This announcement means that those people currently on our waiting list and others who were intending to include the program in their treatment plans can continue with their preparations and that we can now all focus our attention on continuing to deliver and develop this essential service. 

There’s a group of over 350 people, who have been through the program in the past three years, who would be relieved that others will now get to experience the benefits that they have received during their involvement with Catalyst.  My thanks go out to them for the crucial role they have played in its ongoing development and review.  Their sustained interest and enthusiasm for the program has been a powerful indicator of its success and a testament to the work of our dedicated Catalyst staff, who have built it from the ground up.

External evaluation of the Catalyst program has provided independent confirmation of its effectiveness.  Completion rates (63%) are superior to those of comparable evaluated international programs (from 23-46%).  Of those completing the program, the great majority report significant improvements in key areas of their lives, including alcohol and other drug use, risk-taking behaviour, physical and mental health, family relationships and social functioning.

Follow-up interviews at six and 12 months after program completion have consistently confirmed the sustainability of these mutually reinforcing changes and a pattern of continued improvement in people’s wellbeing. 


For further information or comment please contact Laurence Alvis on (03) 9384 8880.

Background about Moreland Hall:  UnitingCare Moreland Hall is the lead Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) treatment and education agency of UnitingCare Victoria & Tasmania. Moreland Hall has been operating since 1970 and provides a range of treatment and education services, including withdrawal and rehabilitation programs, counselling and support in the community and at Victorian prisons, professional development, drug diversion programs, supported accommodation and youth and family programs.