Rachel King
Social Worker – Brightwater, Western Australia

Graduated with Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) from University of Western Australia in 2009. Since graduating Rachel has worked in crisis, counselling, case management and supervisory roles with children and adults in disability, domestic violence, entrenched conflict and foster care.

Rachel currently works full time as a Social Worker at Brightwater Oats Street; she has been in this role for five years and worked in the disability sector for over a decade. Brightwater Oats Street is a residential and community rehabilitation facility for individuals with an acquired brain injury. Rachel works across two teams, providing neurorehabilitation to individuals with a moderate to severe brain injury.
The majority of Rachel’s work is divided between direct clinical time and service/administration time. Rachel has a strong interest in research and exploring ways to facilitate change on a larger scale, and wherever possible she is involved in applied research opportunities within her workplace.

Presentation Title
Enabling Social Drinking in a Supported Community Setting following Acquired Brain Injury

Short Abstract
Enabling Social Drinking in a Supported Community Setting following Acquired Brain InjuryBrosnan, Nicky1 and King, Rachel1 1Oats Street Rehabilitation Programme, Brightwater Care Group, Perth, AustraliaBackground and Objectives:Alcohol plays a major role in society. Following an acquired brain injury (ABI), people often do not know whether they can or should consume alcohol and have limited access and opportunity to do so. Some doctors may not provide clearance for alcohol consumption after ABI and for some this is not acceptable. Without collaboration and negotiation this can cause frustration and disappointment. The aim of this programme was to increase understanding for both clients and staff about alcohol and brain injury, and provide people with ABI an opportunity to consume alcohol in a supported environment.

Method: Two groups of n=4 clients (total n=8) with an ABI completing post-acute rehabilitation, completed education on ABI and alcohol, signed a contract of attendance for the program and were supported by one Disability Support Worker to attend a local venue within the community for 6 week blocks. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected pre and post supported outings. Results:Attitudes towards clients and drinking improved. Individuals became more sociable on site, community inclusion increased and mood improved. Improvements were observed on measures of mental health and wellbeing, inclusion and understanding of ABI and alcohol. Individuals looked forward to the group and the opportunities it brought. Observations of group interactions highlighted the importance of community integration.

Conclusions: Supporting people in ABI rehabilitation to consume alcohol at appropriate levels within a social community environment led to decreased incidences of excessive alcohol consumption as well as decreased social isolation.