How does alcohol impact on your mental health? People in Tayside are being asked to consider their drinking habits during this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week (16 to 22 November 2020).
Led by Alcohol Change UK, the theme for this year’s awareness week is alcohol and mental health. The awareness week provides an opportunity to talk about issues around alcohol and mental health, helping people make more informed choices about their drinking. It also aims to tackle the stigma associated with drinking, which can be significantly worse for those struggling with mental health issues and drinking problems.
NHS Tayside Public Health team, together with local partners, are raising awareness of the effects of alcohol on mental health and wellbeing throughout the week. Key information will be shared across their social media channels, including useful facts, information, and links to key services that can offer help and support.
Laura Henderson, Senior Health Promotion Officer with NHS Tayside said, “It has been a difficult year for everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic and people may feel like it is not getting easier.
“Alcohol Awareness Week offers us a chance to think about the ways in which we may sometimes use alcohol to help us cope when we’re feeling low, anxious, stressed or worried. It also offers opportunities to highlight how alcohol can affect our mental health and wellbeing.
“The relationship between alcohol and mental health is complex. Alcohol is sometimes used by people to try and help manage symptoms of anxiety and depression, but excessive drinking is likely to make those symptoms worse. Managing your drinking and getting the right support are crucial to good mental health. It’s vital that anyone who is struggling gets the support they need.”
Alcohol Unit Measuring cups will be free to pick up in some locations across Tayside during the awareness week. The cups act as a handy measure if you are pouring a drink at home to help keep within the lower risk guidelines of no more than 14 units of alcohol per week.
Alcohol unit measuring cups are available at the following locations during the week of 16 -22 November:
- MacPhersons Pharmacy in Broughty Ferry
- Albert Street Hub in Dundee
- Davidson’s Pharmacy in Muirhead
Tips for Improving your Mental Health & Wellbeing
- Get Active – Getting outdoors and taking regular exercise can boost your mood
- Talk to Someone – Talking to a family member or friend about how you feel can help lighten the load
- Manage your Drinking – Try to keep within the lower risk guidelines of no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. For more information visit www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/alcohol. Downloading the free Try Dry app can help you set some goals.
Join in with this year’s #AlcoholAwarenessWeek campaign and help drive the conversation about alcohol and mental health. For more information visit www.alcoholchange.org.uk/alcoholawarenessweek
If you are concerned about your or someone else’s drinking, are feeling anxious, low or experiencing any other symptoms of mental health problems, you should seek support. You can speak to your GP, and get advice and help from www.samh.org.uk/about-mental-health (Mental Health) and www.alcoholchange.org.uk (Alcohol)