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Five Ways to Wellbeing in Alcohol Awareness Week 2019

The links between sensible drinking and a healthy mind and body are the focus of this year's Alcohol Awareness Week.

The annual drive to encourage responsible drinking runs from November 11 to 17, culminating in two special events for the whole family.

And it paves the way for Dry January 2020 when those who like a tipple are encouraged to enjoy the benefits of a month on the wagon.

This year's Alcohol Awareness Week follows the principles of ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing', which encourage people to make simple changes to help them achieve physical and mental health benefits.

As a depressant, alcohol increases the risk of suicide, especially for those that are using alcohol as a coping mechanism. The campaign raises awareness of the links between alcohol misuse, mental health issues and suicide.

People will be encouraged to limit the amount of alcohol they drink and have drink-free days, and to follow the Five Ways to Wellbeing:

  • Be active - Take a walk, go cycling or play sports
  • Keep learning - learning new skills can give a sense of achievement and renewed confidence
  • Give - even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word
  • Take notice - being more aware of the present moment can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges
  • Connect - with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours

Alcohol Awareness Week 2019 culminates with two special events, starting with the Albert Park parkrun on Saturday, November 16.

Regular runners will be joined by 13 runners in black Morph suits which signifies the number of suicides that take place each day in the UK. Local services including Mind and the Samaritans will also be on hand to offer support and advice.

And on Sunday, November 17 Councillor Dorothy Davison, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Adult Services and Health will open an old-style school sports day hosted by Middlesbrough's Sports Village which will feature classic track and field events for eight teams from different organisations across the South Tees area.

Winners will be presented with their medals by Councillor Dorothy Davison, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Adult Services and Health.

There will also be a market stall village, made up of a number of different services, all with something different to offer and for everyone to engage with including dance, music, gardening, volunteering opportunities and much more.

Councillor Davison said: "While many of us enjoy a drink in moderation, there's a real need to encourage people to change unhealthy drinking behaviours and take time out to let the body recover. The Five Ways to Wellbeing is a great starting point - it's a chance to make a real change that you'll never regret."

Judith Hedgley, Middlesbrough Council's Head of Public Protection, said: "Every day in the UK there are 13 lives lost to suicide. Alcohol is a depressant and can increase the risk of suicide especially for those who are suffering already with mental health issues.

"It is important that we, as a local authority, along with other partners from across the South Tees continue to recognise the impact that alcohol can have on individuals, families and communities and continue to do what we can to lower the risks of alcohol related harm and address a range of social and health issues."

For help and support on cutting down and quitting, visit NHS One You

Pictured: (L-R) Public Health Officers Fiona Helyer and Jane Dent, Councillor Dorothy Davison, Middlesbrough Council Head of Public Protection Judith Hedgley, Public Protection Officers Leon Kay and Andrew Dennis