Alcohol can bring many postives to our lives - it can relax us and plays an important part in our socialising, in a personal and private sphere. But we all know that an overuse of alcohol can have serious and devastating consequences - heartache, broken relationships and damaged lives, public disorder and criminal damage, reputational loss, imprisionment and drink driving.
Many of us here in Kingston work hard to help people put their lives back together as a result of its impact.
But does this have an impact on our own professional and private lives? Is the work related stress in turn having its effect on our staff and volunteers?
Here are some facts, stats, apps and signposting to services in relation to alcohol misuse.
Alcohol & Work - the facts
£17 million sick days per year are lost due to alcohol misue
This is at an annual loss of £7.3 billion to the UK Economy
What can you do as a local employer in the voluntary and community sector?
1) Put the right policies in place
The Healthy Workplace Charter recommends that every organisation should have the following policies in place:
- Alcohol Policy
- Alcohol awareness for employees
- Support and training for line managers
- Support for employees with alcohol problems
2) Raise Awareness - talk to your staff and managers
UK workforce statistics show that using Online Self Assessment tools can reduce drinking by 50%.
For every £1 UK companies spend on raising awarenss, they save £4 in absence.
Kingston has its own confidential, anonymous and measureable E- drinks checker provided by Kingston Public Health. The site aims to support you to understand more about alcohol and its effects and to recognise if drinking is harming your health. It provides signposting to local advice services, support and treatment if necessary.
3) Get Advice - who to contact
If you are a Kingston Charity, KVA can support you to develop and policy and proceedure for your organisation.
If you are an individual member of staff or volunteer why not try out one of the many apps to monitor how much you are drinking.
Find Local Support
ASCA - Addiction Support and Care Agency
Provides services for people affected by alcohol and/or drug misuse. Services include: counselling (1:1), weekly group sessions, Women's Service, GP Service, Probation Partnership, Drug Treatment and Testing Order, weekly acupuncture sessions, Young Person's Service. Also provides information & training on alcohol / drug awareness, counselling skills and youth work.
Kingston upon Thames has its own confidential, anonymous and measureable online drinks checker.
This website, developed by Public Health Kingston, is to support local people either living or working in Kingston upon Thames to understand more about alcohol and its effects. The site provides signposting; advice, support and even referral treatment if required.
It provides the facts, gives suggestions about how to cut down and gives you the opportunity to refer yourself to talk to someone in strictest confidence.
Search under any of these headings in the NHS Choices services near you section.
The Council's site has a large section of self care activities to improve your health, wellbeing and overall wellness. The link above is to the RBK Self Care Calendar of local events and activites including - Healthy Eating, Alcohol Awareness, Healthy Ageing, Sexual Health, Winter wellness, Smoking Cessation, Workplace Health, Learning and Volunteering, Children and Families, Carer Wellbeing, Mental Wellbeing, Physlical Activity.
You can find additional information on local health and care services by visiting Kingston Digital Health directories section of this site..
Find National Support
Drinkaware is an independent charity working to reduce alcohol misuse and harm in the UK. It provides facts, advice and a number of online tools including a members area so people can make better choices about drinking. Over one and a half throusand people have signed up in the first 4 days of January 2017. If you are concerned that you or someone you care about has a problem with alcohol the site has useful links to national charities with alcohol support services and phone numbers.
if you are holding any events to raise awareness of the dry january or holding any support meetings - email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add them into the calendar below.