AS this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week takes place people are encouraged to think about their drinking habits and how it impacts on their mental health as we continue to work together through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The national week runs from Monday, November 16 to Sunday, November 22, and will see organisations across the UK raise awareness of alcohol consumption, its impacts, and how people can stay healthy.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is just one organisation supporting the campaign with its workforce urging people to get involved and find out more about alcohol and its impacts.
The Service is calling for people to take care at home - especially if they tend to drink alcohol.
The plea comes as 63 people – who had most likely been drinking alcohol - died in house fires between April 2007 and March 2018.
GMFRS’ Head of Prevention, Area Manager Paul Duggan, said: “As part of Alcohol Awareness Week we want to remind people about the dangers that come with drinking at home - with alcohol most likely being consumed by almost half of the people who died in house fires in Greater Manchester over the last 11 years.
“When people drink alcohol they are more likely to have accidents around the house, such as when it comes to cooking. Our advice is never to cook after too many drinks as this can often lead to fires breaking out.”
Alcohol is also a contributory factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including: mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers; high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver; and depression – with more than 7,550 alcohol-specific deaths in the UK in 2018.
Research in England, carried out by Opiniom for Alcohol Change, shows that around one in five drinkers (21 per cent) are drinking alcohol more frequently since lockdown, with existing behaviours being reinforced by lockdown. Most people who are drinking more often are also drinking more on a typical day.
Around one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year and drinking too much or too often can increase this risk, with many people being unaware of the link between alcohol and poor mental health – yet it’s often the first thing we turn to when we’re feeling low, stressed, worried or unable to cope.
Alcohol doesn’t only impact on individuals who drink. Alcohol Awareness Week aims to get people thinking about how drinking affects our family and friends, our working lives, those living within our communities, and our society more generally.
For more information about Alcohol Awareness Week visit: https://alcoholchange.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/alcohol-awareness-week-1
You can find more information and support on offer:
- Kooth - https://hub.gmhsc.org.uk/mental-health/kooth/
- NHS Every Mind Matters - https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/childrens-mental-health/
- Silvercloud - https://hub.gmhsc.org.uk/mental-health/silvercloud/
- Mental health support where you live: https://hub.gmhsc.org.uk/mental-health/in-your-area/
- Shout - text 85258 or go to: https://giveusashout.org
- Greater Manchester Mental Health helpline - 0800 953 0285 (open 24/7)
- Samaritans - 116 123
- Greater Manchester Victims’ Services – call 0161 200 1950 or go to: https://www.gmvictims.org.uk/
Article Published: 16/11/2020 14:03 PM