SOPA’s six main measures
Within the framework of the SOPA approach, specially trained healthcare workers at the primary level and social workers at social work centres carry out the so-called brief counselling (screening and brief intervention 1 or KU1), which supports patients or users in giving up hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption through multiple individual meetings. In the project, we have defined an educational module and carried out training for practitioners, and pilot-implemented and evaluated the measure. We prepared a Handbook for practicing the measure in six areas (primary health care and social work), and we have prepared other special materials for practitioners and patients. In 2022, the measure was partially systemically implemented.
In addition, it is important to carry out the so-called brief advice (screening and brief intervention 2 or KU2). This is a shorter, one-time version of an individual conversation to support giving up hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption. It is conducted by healthcare workers who work in areas of specialty where alcohol-related issues are particularly relevant as the primary reason for a patient’s visit. In the project, we have defined an educational module, carried out training for practitioners, and evaluated the training process. We prepared a Handbook for practicing the measure in eight areas of health specialty, and we have prepared other special materials, for practitioners and patients.
In addition, the so-called brief intervention 3 (KU3), or motivational informing and awareness-raising about alcohol-related issues and sources of help for groups of people who may be particularly vulnerable (e.g. unemployed, blind or visually impaired, deaf or hearing-impaired, struggling with mental health, etc.) and deal with special circumstances (e.g. sports and culture), is carried out, primarily through the integration of awareness-raising content into the regular activities of non-governmental organizations in the fields of selected vulnerabilities and employment offices. For most of the selected fields, we have defined an educational module and carried out training for practitioner and pilot-implemented and evaluated the measure in the project. For some fields, we have prepared special awareness-raising materials. We prepared a Handbook for practicing the measure in 10 special vulnerabilities/circumstances.
The workshop is carried out at health education centres or health promotion centres in community health centres, where participants are familiarized with the basics of effective self-care, assertive communication, and problem solving. In the project, we developed the workshop, defined the educational module, and carried out training for practitioners and pilot-implemented and evaluated the measure. We prepared a Handbook for conducting the workshop and awareness-raising materials for potential participants. In 2022, the measure was systematically implemented.
A particularly important measure of the approach is communication with the media, which, in addition to media communication of project activities and marking of the so-called alcohol-free day event, also includes cooperation with representatives of the media for appropriate reporting on alcohol-related issues. Within the project, we have designed the SOPA approach’s communication strategy, defined the themes and method of marking the alcohol-free day event, carried out the event every year, implemented awareness-raising media campaigns, carried out advisory focus groups with representatives of the media on appropriate reporting on alcohol in the media, prepared and disseminated recommendations for reporting on alcohol in the media to representatives of the media, and carried out an analysis of reporting on alcohol in the media. The recommendations are available HERE.
In addition, accompanying activities of interdisciplinary networking (e.g. meetings of local, regional, and national networks of SOPA stakeholders) are carried out, which round off the cooperation of the stakeholders of these measures, other stakeholders in the communities (e.g. representatives of self-help and therapeutic groups for supporting people with alcohol-related problems), and authorities at various levels, for greater effectiveness of the approach. Within the project, we regularly organized meetings of local, regional, and national networks of agents, meetings of the interdisciplinary Development Team or later National Professional Board, and meetings of the interdisciplinary Steering Committee at the Ministry of Health.