Just in time for this year’s ‘Sober October’, a new health initiative designed in consultation with the public is being launched in Cheshire and Merseyside to help people cut down on the amount of alcohol they drink.
Designed to raise awareness of the Lower My Drinking app and with a theme of ‘The answer’s in your hands’, the campaign encourages people to consider how much they drink, download the app and use it to put them in control.
The body behind the initiative is the Champs Public Health Collaborative, a long-standing formal partnership of Cheshire and Merseyside’s nine Directors of Public Health and their teams.
The work is funded by NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, the Integrated Care Board for the subregion which holds responsibility for planning NHS services, including Primary Care, community pharmacy and those previously planned by clinical commissioning groups.
Ian Ashworth, NHS Cheshire and Merseyside’s Director of Population Health, said:
“Reducing alcohol harm is a real priority in today’s world. Among people aged 15 to 49, alcohol is the leading risk factor for ill health, early mortality and disability, and in Cheshire and Merseyside over a quarter of the adult population consumes higher levels of alcohol than the recommended guidelines.
“Across our subregion alone it’s estimated to cost around £994 million each year across the NHS, social services, crime and licensing, and the workplace.”
The free Lower My Drinking app has been designed by clinical psychologists and behavioural scientists to put people in control of their drinking, but it does much more than just track how many units you have each day.
Dr Paul Richardson, Consultant Hepatologist (and Honorary Associate Clinical Professor) Royal Liverpool Hospital (LUFT), and co-lead for the Collaborative’s Reduction of Harm from Alcohol programme, explained:
“As you’d expect, you can track how much you drink so you can see the progress you make but it also helps you see the gains you make through cutting down and focus on your motivations for reducing drinking.
“The app also gives people the skills to understand the role alcohol plays in their life, anticipate situations where they may be tempted to drink too much and replace drinking with positive activities in their daily routine.”
The campaign will be running across press, social media and in public places across Cheshire and Merseyside throughout the autumn and winter months. The creative has been produced by the Cheshire based advertising agency Thrive.
To download the app or find out more, please visit https://lowermydrinking-nhs.org.uk/
To learn more about NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, please visit https://www.cheshireandmerseyside.nhs.uk/