A series of videos have been produced which tell the powerful stories of two Wiltshire Council employees and the impact alcohol has had on them and their families.
The videos were put together as part of the recent Alcohol Awareness Week to highlight the support available in Wiltshire for people struggling with alcohol.
In one of the videos, Dave Payne, a health visitor at the council, explains how his drinking quickly spiralled out of control from a young age and the steps he took to successfully turn his life around.
Sarah Johnson, an outreach worker for rough sleepers, bravely talks about her brother Andy’s struggles with alcohol and the devastating impact this had on the family, and she explains how this changed her own relationship with alcohol.
All the videos can be found www.wiltshire.gov.uk/news/articles/alcohol-awareness-videos.
An anonymous written blog was also posted from another Wiltshire Council colleague, in which she talks about her relationship with alcohol, the slow realisation that she was drinking too much, and the positive changes she has made in her life since. The blog can also be found at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/news/articles/alcohol-awareness-videos.
Dave Payne said: “ I think it’s really important to get the message across as alcohol is something that can affect anyone – either the person drinking or the family or even the employer.”
Jerry Wickham, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health, public protection, and adult social care, said: “We were very grateful to the three members of staff for sharing their own very different perspectives of how alcohol has impacted on their lives. We’re sure people can relate to their experiences and we hope they can help them in some way.
“Alcohol has the potential to devastate lives, but we have excellent support in Wiltshire. I’d urge anyone who thinks they have a problem to get in touch with our friendly approachable colleagues and take that all-important first step.”
If people think they need support they should contact Turning Point on 0345 6036993, or under 18s please contact Motiv8 on 0800 169 6136. People can also visit http://wellbeing.turning-point.co.uk/swindon-and-wiltshire/
People can also enrol with a Wiltshire Council Health Trainer for one-to-one support, to help people achieve their health-related goals. http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-trainers.
If people want to know more about their alcohol consumption then they can complete a short online survey which will provide advice and support depending on the results. It can be found at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-drug-and-alcohol