A pioneering digital platform has been launched to help people affected by substance use in the Stirling and Clackmannanshire areas.
The Forth Valley Recovers App is the first project of its kind in Scotland and will offer important information to individuals, direct them to local and national support and encourage engagement with services.
Developed by award-winning company, Faff Digital, in conjunction with the local recovery community, the software will assist people in their recovery via a range of interactive features and help users understand the impact of drugs and/or alcohol on their health and its effect on others.
Although the app is aimed at people in recovery, it can also be used by families, workers and the wider community to increase knowledge and promote services.
Cllr Chris Kane, Convener of Stirling Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, which supports the work of the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (ADP), said: “The development of this app is one of a range of measures the ADP is carrying out to help people with substance use in the Stirling and Clackmannanshire area.
“By providing individuals, families and communities with easily accessible high quality information and tailored support, this innovative app can help people in their recovery.”
According to the Office of National Statistics, 94 per cent of households in Scotland are estimated to own a mobile phone, with usage increasing, while 85 per cent have access to a personal computer and the internet.
A digital presence can therefore reduce stigma and discrimination for those who may find it difficult to approach services in person.
Available on Apple, Android and Amazon devices, the software will also be accessible online via a dedicated website so anyone with access to the internet can access support.
Cllr Maureen Bennison, Vice Convener of the Committee said: “I am delighted to see the development of this pioneering digital platform which will help break down barriers on this important national issue and enable greater engagement with residents.
“Not only will it inform and empower people with a substance use issue by encouraging self-management, it also has the potential to provide a variety of wider health and well-being benefits to individuals and the communities.”
The Clackmannanshire and Stirling ADP is linked to the *Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership, a joint partnership between NHS Forth Valley, Clackmannanshire Council and Stirling Council.
Funding for the project came via the Clackmannanshire and Stirling ADP Challenge Fund. The app was launched at last week’s (Aug 30) **Recovery Cafe meeting at the Mayfield Centre in Stirling.
Cllr Les Sharp, Vice Chair of Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership Board said: “People committed to making recovery happen deserve all the support they can get and this app has information on where to find services, what help is available and can help people to create their your own recovery plan.”
Dr Graham Foster, Director of Public Health, NHS Forth Valley, said: "NHS Forth Valley works closely with key partners to offer support to families and communities affected by substance use. It is a key priority in our local health improvement strategy.
“The Forth Valley Alcohol and Drug Partnership team estimate that for every person who has problems with substance use there are likely to be two or three other people who are directly affected. These include spouses, partners, children and siblings, as well as co-workers and friends.
“Families have a critical role to play in helping people on the road to recovery by engaging more fully in their recovery plan and this pioneering app is an important step forward in providing vital support and advice."
Visit the website here: www.forthvalleyrecovers.com