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A brief intervention is any intervention that involves the minium amount of time to change a particular type of behaviour. A brief intervention may simply start by raising the issue that a particular problem exists. The programme that is currently being delivered to GAA coaches is a brief intervention programme based on the SAOR model. The SAOR model oriented from the Emergency Department & Acute Care Settings for problematic alcohol use and was published by James O’ Shea and Paul Goff in 2006. This model provides an evidence-based step by step guide to the delivery of a brief intervention programme for harmful alcohol and drug use. SAOR, the Irish word for ‘free’ is used as an acronym to facilitate people in remembering the key components of brief interventions.

The four principle aspects of the intervention are:
1) Support
2) Ask and Assess
3) Offer Assistance
4) Refer

It’s important to note that very few, if any interventions in a GAA setting will ever reach the REFER stage – by simply engaging in an encouraging conversation on the topic, has been shown to be effective in getting players who are engaging with alcohol in a harmful way to change their behaviour. Coaches who wish to conduct a successful brief intervention with a player, should be able to sensitively guide a conversation along the path and at times will need to lead, while at other times follow the player towards the goal of change.

Organise a SAOR Event for your Club

A step by step pocket booklet to support GAA coaches on how to have a short structured conversation with players about their harmful alcohol or drug use can be downloads below. If you would like to organise SAOR training or an event for your coaches please contact Stacey Cahill, GAA Health and Wellbeing Learning and Development Officer at stacey.cahill@gaa.ie or 01 8192387.

Please click link below to download the GAA Coaching for Confidence Booklet

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