Bond University’s Psychology Clinic is partnering with the Queensland Police Service on an innovative new program to assist with the curbing of violent behaviour in Gold Coast hotspots.
The six-week psycho-educational program is believed to be the first of its kind in Australia.
The University’s Don’t Fight – Communicate Right! program will provide early intervention, individual and group therapy, and rehabilitation for individuals who are charged with an offence involving violent behaviour in a Gold Coast entertainment precinct.
Doctor Deborah Wilmoth, Director of Bond Psychology Clinic said the key objective of the program was to prevent individuals from re-offending.
“The program will help participants to understand substance usage and how it affects their behaviour, manage anger and frustration more effectively and develop better decision-makings skills so they can make better choices,” Dr Wilmoth said.
The program will be delivered by students of interns of the Bond Masters of Psychology Programs, who are provisionally recognised psychologists, under the supervision of the Forensic and Clinical Psychologists at the Psychology Clinic.
“Relevant defendants who are given bail from the Watchouse or at their first appearance date will be referred to the Don’t Fight – Communicate Right! program and encouraged to attend,” Dr Wilmoth said.
“The Clinic will report back to the Police Prosecution on their participation. This information will enhance the Police Prosecutions bail and sentencing submissions to the Magistrates Court.”
Bond University Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Raoul Mortley, said the University was very pleased to be partnering with The Queensland Police Service on such an innovative and beneficial program.
“The Bond University Psychology Clinic is not just a training facility, but a community health centre, so it’s great for us to be involved in a program which will see our research result in practical benefits to the community,” Professor Mortley said.
"This leading-edge program will deliver improved psychological health and wellbeing for many individuals. It is a critical part of the QPS Police Intervention Initiative to change violent behaviour in Gold Coast Entertainment Precincts and through enhanced prosecution and treatment activities there should be changes in offending behaviour and an increased level of security for the broader community.”
The initial consultation and assessment will be completed free-of-charge for the individual, while the six-week course will cost just $30 to complete.
Queensland Police Service and Bond University will review and evaluate the program over the coming months.
The Bond University Psychology Clinic has been providing psychological services to the Gold Coast community since 1999. The Clinic also acts as a teaching facility for provisionally registered psychologists undertaking postgraduate study in clinical or forensic psychology, and additionally operating as a centre for clinical research.