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New £1.25 Million Programme For Alcohol Services in South Eastern Trust Area
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THE South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust has launched a new programme called ‘Alcohol & You’ consisting of four new interlinked projects aimed at addressing the harm related to alcohol misuse including Northern Ireland’s first interactive alcohol website.

Health Minister Edwin Poots launched the Alcohol and You initiiative.

Health Minister Edwin Poots launched the Alcohol and You initiiative.

The Alcohol & You Programme is a range of brief intervention services in the South Eastern Trust area funded by the Big Lottery Fund. The project will see £1.25 million invested in alcohol services over the next four years. These new services will be managed by the Trust, but delivered in partnership with voluntary sector providers Addiction NI, ASCERT, and FASA. The first three projects outlined below are aimed at adults who are misusing alcohol but are not dependent. The fourth offers help and support for those adults living with someone else’s alcohol misuse.

The programme consists of the four following projects:

  1. Alcohol Information Service – is Northern Ireland’s first interactive Alcohol website www.alcoholandyouni.com. As well as giving information, this website also gives individuals the opportunity to look at their own drinking habits through a range of interactive activities. Also included is information on how to access other alcohol services as well as range of information leaflets and booklets. In addition to the website there will be a range of printed self-help materials available.  Social media siteswill be developed and there will be an annual alcohol related campaign.
  1. Alcohol Clinics – for those adults wanting to speak to someone on an individual basis Single 20 minutes sessions involving an assessment, motivational advice and support.
  1. Counselling Clinics – this service is suitable for anyone motivated to change and feels they would benefit from a brief period of counselling (up to six sessions) to reduce drinking levels and alcohol related harm.
  1. Family Intervention Service – aims to help and support adult family members affected by another person’s alcohol misuse. The person misusing alcohol does not need to be engaged in any other services for the family to avail of this service.

These interlinking projects are aimed at building up the lower levels of stepped care approach and to complement existing specialist services at tiers three and four already available within the Trust.

The Alcohol and You website provides access to a wide range of support services.

The Alcohol and You website provides access to a wide range of support services.

Hugh McCaughey, Chief Executive, South Eastern HSC Trust said: “The South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust are delighted to have this opportunity to work in partnership with voluntary providers to tackle this important issue. The new Alcohol and You Programme will complement the work already carried out within the South Eastern Trust area in addressing alcohol related harm.”

Lynda Vladeanu, Health Development Manager for the South Eastern HSC Trust added: “We are delighted to have received this grant from the Big Lottery Fund for a four year period. This will enable us to build upon the strategic direction within the Trust’s Health Development and Addiction Service ensuing all those working across the Trust are in a position to offer clients misusing alcohol and their families’ information, brief advice and targeted interventions.  This project  supports a population approach to reach the widest range of people possible.”

Also, Alex Bunting, Head of Corporate Services from FASA,  said  “Alcohol and You provides a range of services aimed at addressing the impact of alcohol on individuals, families and ultimately communities. It provides the South Eastern area with a range of new services which includes Northern Ireland’s first self-help web based service at:

www.alcoholandyouni.com

“Alcohol intervention and family support make up the range of new services.  FASA are extremely pleased to partner with the South Eastern Trust and our community partners to bring much needed services to this area.”

Joanne McDowell, the Big Lottery Fund’s NI Director said: “Northern Ireland has a higher proportion of adults who exceed their recommended daily limit for alcohol than in the rest of the UK, and alcohol related deaths in Northern Ireland are higher for both men and women.

“So we are delighted that the programme launched today will deal with the issues caused by alcohol misuse in communities across Northern Ireland. We are building on existing experience and expertise in this area and offering funding to community and voluntary groups that work with people, families and communities affected by alcohol misuse.”