AOD worker health and wellbeing

October 2016

NCETA Staff: Ann Roche, Roger Nicholas

Other Collaborators: 

Robert Stirling, Network of Drug and Alcohol Agencies (NADA)
Vanessa Caldwell, Matua Raki, New Zealand

Project description: 

NCETA’s ongoing program of work addressing AOD worker wellbeing has identified that workers in the health and human services field often experience high levels of work-related demands and stressors, and are particularly vulnerable to experiencing stress, compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress and burnout.

Building on this program of work, NCETA conducted a literature review examining the health and wellbeing of the Australian alcohol and other drugs (AOD) workforce in collaboration with the Network of Drug and Alcohol Agencies (NADA) . That review was subsequently expanded to include New Zealand AOD workers.

In undertaking the review, NCETA set out to examine:

  • Areas of concern for the workforce (describe the problem)
  • Protective factors (what promotes health and wellbeing)
  • Review measures and tools that have been used to describe and examine workforce health and wellbeing (in various settings where alcohol and drug use is addressed)
  • What are the best interventions for a healthy workforce?

Recognising that a healthy workforce is critical in providing effective services to those with complex health and social needs, NCETA, NADA and Matua Raki are using the findings of the literature review to conduct an online worker wellbeing survey of the AOD workforce.

The survey will examine the range of factors impacting on AOD worker wellbeing including job satisfaction, stress, burnout, and work environments (e.g. caseloads, staffing). It will also explore the availability and utility of worker wellbeing programs including broad-based workplace wellbeing programs.

Further information about the survey will be posted on the NCETA website, Facebook Page and Twitter Feed along with posts on the AOD Peak Bodies websites and social media and through a variety of listservers and networks.