The Get Healthy Alcohol Program provides evidence based health coaching and education to support people over the age of 18 years reduce their alcohol intake. Support is given for free, over the phone. The program is aimed at people drinking at moderate to risky levels, which is above the national guidelines. It is not for those drinking at dependent levels, who should be referred to other services. You can refer your patients to the Get Healthy Service using the Health Professional referral form. Your details can be saved, making future referrals quicker and easier.  Free resources are also available on the website to share with your patients.

The Get Healthy Alcohol program is also available to pregnant women to support them to not drink.

Alcohol risk is assessed for all Get Healthy participants aged 18 years and over using the Audit validated screening tool. The Alcohol Program is recommended to those who are score between 8-19 on Audit. The modified Audit-C tool is used to assess pregnant women’s alcohol intake when they join the Get Healthy Service. Pregnant women who score 3 or more on this screening tool are recommended to enrol into the Alcohol Program to help them not drink alcohol during their pregnancy.

A tailored approach for your patients

On receiving the referral, the Get Healthy Service will call your patient within one week and book regular coaching calls at a time that works for them.

The service is available 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. The interpreter service is also available to support your patient during coaching calls and has been shown to be effective and acceptable for non-English speaking participants. An Aboriginal Liaison Officer and culturally adapted resources are available for Aboriginal participants.

Patients are initially offered 4 coaching calls but can re-enrol if they need ongoing support.

Data is collected at commencement and graduation to track progress for you and your patient.

All patient information collected and the content of coaching calls comply with NSW Health privacy and confidentiality requirements.

With the patient’s consent, feedback with be provided to you on:

  • receipt of the referral
  • enrolment 
  • completion

Participants are matched with a university qualified health coach with specialised training in alcohol reduction. They provide non-judgmental health coaching, practical tools and information based on the latest evidence including:

  • developing a personal plan to reduce or not drink alcohol
  • providing feedback on alcohol use and health-related harms
  • setting achievable goals and overcoming barriers and set backs
  • identifying, managing or avoiding  high-risk drinking  situations
  • practical techniques for cutting down or stopping drinking
  • strategies to increase motivation to change drinking behaviour
  • tracking progress, being accountable and celebrating success

Effective and evidence based

The Get Healthy Service Alcohol program was reviewed and updated in 2020. It is based on the latest evidence on alcohol reduction and behaviour change. Developed in consultation with experts, clinicians, consumers and health coaches it aims to optimise clinical outcomes and the participant experience. One systematic review of similar interventions showed that after a year of brief intervention people had, on average, cut down their drinking by the equivalent of two standard drinks a week.

It is recommended that patients are routinely asked about their drinking behaviour because alcohol use can affect many health conditions.

The clinical risks associated with drinking during pregnancy are now clearly documented. It is particularly important for health professionals to ask their patients about their alcohol intake during pregnancy.  97% of Australian women want to be asked about alcohol use during pregnancy. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy may result in miscarriage or stillbirth and may adversely affect breast feeding, infant behaviour, development and may result in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

A referral to the Get Healthy Service will support your patients to reduce or not drink alcohol to support positive health outcomes.

Past program participants have told us that it was motivating knowing their health coach was going to call. It pushed them to achieve goals so they could show progress.

 “I'm reaching my targets by being held accountable.”

– Christine, Sydney, 57