Snakes and Ladders – ACON’s comorbidity education sessions

Did you know that ACON runs a Substance Support Service? And is one of only two providers of stimulant treatment in NSW… Me neither (and I’m a Board Director, so I should know; the scope of ACON’s work continues to surprise me).

Yesterday I attended Snakes and Ladders, a comorbidity education session run by ACON to raise awareness of alcohol and other drug use and mental health issues in LGBT, people living with HIV and sex worker communities. The sessions include invited speakers and facilitated networking. (Contact Marcus mpastorelli@acon.org.au for details of future sessions)

Rachel (Deacon – we run SWASH together) and I were invited to give a presentation on alcohol and other drugs and mental health in the SWASH data set. SWASH is the longest running survey of lesbian, bisexual and queer women’s health in Australia (probably the world). We have data on sexual practices with women men; safer sex practices; knowledge of sexually transmissible infections (STIs); testing for STIs and HIV + diagnosis; pap smear screening; tobacco smoking; illicit drug use; alcohol consumption; self-report measures of general health; self report mental health (K6); accessing counselling; mental health diagnosis; height and weight; regular GP ; whether out to GP; satisfaction with last GP visit; domestic violence experiences; experiences of anti-LGBTQ behaviour (and whether reported to police); community engagement; community media use; community connection as well as lots of demographics on age, sexuality, attraction, children, employment, education, income… Some of this data on sexual practices goes back to 1996! Find out more on SWASH here.

The request from Snakes and Ladders request was a good impetus to dig a little deeper into this huge data set.  Have a look at the presentation…

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