Swanswell helps thousands online through Netmums

08 June 2011

Swanswell’s helping thousands of people online with advice about drugs and alcohol thanks to a unique online partnership with Netmums.

Over the last two years, the national charity – which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use – has been working with the biggest online parenting organisation to provide support to its members through their Coffee House forums.

Up to a thousand ‘mums’ (parents or guardians) are online at any one time and can post questions on various topics such as parenting, relationships or everyday life.

Before approaching Netmums, Swanswell found that many posts were about drug or alcohol use with little or no expert help available to provide suitable answers.

So the national charity suggested working together to offer advice for parents generally, or on an individual basis through private messages, where appropriate.

Posts in the alcohol and drugs forum are regularly monitored and answered by Netmums Parents Supporters and Swanswell’s Substance Misuse workers.

Since the project began in 2009, Swanswell posts have been viewed more than 228,000 times.

Debbie Bannigan, Chief Executive of Swanswell, said: ‘Our partnership with Netmums came about after we spotted a real need for sound, expert advice about alcohol and drugs on the forums.

‘We’ve had much success because not only are we helping thousands of people by giving advice in an informal way but we can also communicate privately for more personal matters, referring them to further support where necessary.

We’re already looking to expand this professional support to other social networks to make it even easier for people to change and be happy.’

If parents have a question about alcohol or drugs and would like more information, visit the Alcohol and Drugs forum on the Netmums Coffee House.

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