Local support is available if you are struggling with alcohol use and / or your mental wellbeing

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone and the situation looks as if it may continue as we move further into the winter.  More than ever it is important that people take time to look after their health and recognise when they need some extra support with their mental wellbeing or drinking.

This week Herefordshire Council has joined 3,000 other community groups across the UK for Alcohol Awareness Week (16 – 22 November) led by Alcohol Change UK, to raise awareness of the link between alcohol and mental health, to speak out about the issues and the stigma surrounding them, and encourage anyone who is struggling to seek the support they need. 

With so much change and uncertainty, it is understandable that people may be feeling anxious or overwhelmed and the temptation to turn to alcohol may be increased.  Many of us are under huge amounts of stress due to extra worries around job security, finding new work, financial difficulties, family issues and the challenges we face under the current government restrictions. 

Many people are drinking more heavily to try to cope with these extra pressures and this can increase the risk of developing or worsening of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, along with many other health conditions.  If you are feeling completely overwhelmed and think you are drinking too much, then it is time to reach out and find some support.

Karen Wright, Director of Public Health for Herefordshire, said:

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on all of us and prioritising our health and wellbeing has been difficult but now it is a really important time for people to take stock and start looking after themselves.

“It is really important that people look after their physical and mental wellbeing and to try and limit their alcohol intake.  I urge anyone who finds themselves feeling overwhelmed with their thoughts or they find their drinking has got a little bit out of hand to reach out and find support.

“The good news is that being in control of our drinking can improve our mental health.  There are lots of local and national services that are available, so I encourage people to take that first step and get in touch with an organisation that can help or make an appointment to speak to their GP.”

If you think that you and or someone you know needs help with alcohol or drug use, you can find local advice and support through We Are With You or by calling their Herefordshire branch on 01432 802487.

There is also plenty of local and national support available online, you can find out more by visiting Herefordshire’s WISH website www.wisherefordshire.org/alcohol.

For more information about help and support with alcohol visit the Alcohol Change website.  The website includes access to the free Try Dry app to help people track their time off drinking.

Details of local and national mental wellbeing support is available on Herefordshire’s WISH website www.wisherefordshire.org/mentalhealth.

There is also lots of information on how to improving mental wellbeing and dealing with anxiety on the NHS Every Mind Matters website.

If you need urgent support with mental wellbeing contact the Samaritans free on 116 123.

Published: 17th November 2020