A partnership between Murdoch University’s Chiropractic Clinic and a Western Australian rehabilitation clinic for people with drug and alcohol issues has earned a prestigious national award for its holistic approach to evaluation and treatment.
Since its inception in 2006, the partnership has seen Murdoch University chiropractic students provide more than 3500 clinical evaluations and treatments to clients who voluntarily attend the Palmerston Association’s residential service at Palmerston Farm, 30 minutes south of Perth.
The Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association (ATCA) presented the award to Murdoch and Palmerston for ‘significant contribution to the therapeutic community movement in Australasia: program, service or intervention’.
Murdoch’s Senior Supervising Clinician Dr Lyndon Woods said the weekly visits presented the chiropractic students with a range of challenging health issues not commonly encountered at the campus clinic.
“They allow the students to work with clients from a range of backgrounds and experience cultural diversity and unique physical and psychosocial issues,” Dr Woods said.
“By having the opportunity to use the chiropractic services offered by Murdoch University students, residents are introduced to a non-pharmacological alternative to managing their musculoskeletal pain and general well being that under normal circumstances may be inaccessible to them.
“For some residents, this community outreach program is the first time in their lives that they have experienced chiropractic care.”
The project is an integrated process of community service funded by the Chiropractors Association of Australia (National) and facilitated by Murdoch University and Palmerston Farm.
Palmerston Farm is a therapeutic community offering a residential rehabilitation program for people wishing to address issues related to substance use. A therapeutic community is a treatment facility in which the community itself, through self-help and mutual support, is the principal means for promoting personal change.
Residents and staff participate in the management and operation of the community, contributing to a psychologically and physically safe learning environment where change can occur.
“It is fundamentally a self-help approach that treats the whole person through the use of peer community, amplified with a variety of services and interventions related to family, education, vocational training, physical and mental health,” Dr Woods added.