Skip to main content

QCAPtures - Recent News

Responding to Community Need – Family Support Group

Over the last year, QCAP, the Market Development Association, the Drug and Alcohol Network (DARN) at QUB, the Market Health Action Group and local residents have been engaged in an ongoing conversation in the Market around tackling substance use.

QCAP have collated and translated the feedback from ongoing consultations and, coupled with initial findings from our longitudinal ‘Growing up in the Market’ study, have worked with our partners in the MDA and Market Health Action group to respond to identified community priorities around tackling substance use. There was a clear call to address prioritised need for family support in substance use.

Family members of those living with a substance use issue often experience significant physical and psychological effects due to ongoing related stress or distress. There is ‘strong, scientifically rigorous evidence which shows the effectiveness of professionally facilitated, family-led supports groups’ in dealing with complex health issues such as substance use; mental health (Worrall et al., p.85). However, there is a distinct lack of support available for families affected by substance use, or research on same, with the literature calling for strategies to address this need (van Beek et al., 2023). Providing support to families who are dealing with substance use is an important area of research, as many families struggle to find support, delay accessing support, or feel they can manage the issue ‘in-house’.

To address this gap in provision, we are delighted to announce QCAP, the MDA and DARN will soon commence the family support group intervention for family members of those living with a substance use issue. The support group will be facilitated by experienced, professional facilitators working in the area of substance use and family intervention.

The support group will be underpinned by a robust evaluation from the team at QCAP, helping us to understand what is most effective for families of those affected by substance use. Further details about the family support group will be announced at our next community consultation night in the Market community.