Alcohol’s impact on mental health is most important issue for parents

Alcohol’s impact on mental health is most important issue for parents

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Today (1 June 2018) is UN Global Day of Parents, which honours parents throughout the world and celebrates their contribution to the protection and education of children. Recognising this, research by Drinkaware found that parents are the strongest influence on their child’s attitudes and behaviours towards alcohol. Through our Parents' Campaign, Drinkaware have responded to an identified need for facts, tools and advice to support parents to have informed, timely conversations about alcohol with their children.

Since its launch in April 2016, the Drinkaware Parents’ Campaign has reached over 2.5 million parents in Ireland through a dedicated online parent hub and social media, workshops and resources. Drinkaware continue to encourage parents to have an open conversation about alcohol with their children early and continue it often, and by doing so support their children in making informed decisions. Parents play a crucial role in delaying the age at which alcohol is introduced and it is important to have all the correct information to hand when having this important conversation.

The latest Drinkaware parent research, conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes, revealed striking comparisons from similar research in 2015. 1 in 5 parents consider alcohol’s impact on mental health as the most important topic to include when talking about alcohol with wither their young people, compared to 1 in 10 in 2015. In response, Drinkaware have developed a new booklet, ‘Young People, Alcohol and Mental Health’, to ensure parents can confidently discuss this issue. This booklet and our other resources, including our Parent Pack, are available to order right here on our website.

We firmly believe that any work to reduce underage drinking needs to put parents at its core, which is why we are constantly encouraged to hear parents share their experiences with others at our workshops throughout the country. Thank you to all who have attended in the past and we hope to welcome many more parents to our alcohol information workshops in 2018. For more information or to book a workshop for your school, get in touch with the team: info@drinkaware.ie.

Drinkaware research also revealed that:

  • 3 in 4 parents do not obtain information before the initiate a conversation about alcohol with their children. However, twice as many parents (24%) obtaining information before having this conversation than in 2015 (11%).
  • The number of parents who feel ‘never getting into a car with someone who has consumed alcohol’ has reduced by over half (10% in 2017 vs 22% in 2015).
  • 61% of parents are very confident in their ability to talking effectively to their children about alcohol, compared to 75% in 2015.

Drinkaware CEO, Niamh Gallagher said:

“As a parent it is important to understand all the facts, so that children are aware of the risks associated with drinking from a young age. Some of the most worrying effects of underage drinking include the link between early alcohol use and mental health, illegal drug use and sexual health. This conversation shouldn’t be a one-off, developing a strong, respectful and trusting relationships with your children can positively change their behaviours when it come to important issues such as alcohol.

Drinkaware resources provide evidence-led advice and useful tips for parents to confidently have a conversation with their children about drinking alcohol. Our Parents’ Campaign continues to put parents front and centre, providing the information and supports parents are telling us they need the most. We want parents to be empowered by the fact that they are the single strongest influence on their child’s attitudes and behaviours towards alcohol and new resources like our new booklet, ‘Young People, Alcohol and Mental Health’, are there to do just that.”

Visit our Parent Page for more information and resources