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Health Trust hosts major conference on alcohol issues

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust, in partnership with the Public Health Agency, held its annual conference on alcohol and related issues in the Canal Court Hotel, Newry on Tuesday 31 March 2015.

The conference focused on the themes of alcohol and domestic violence, prescribed drugs, homelessness, older people and understanding units and was an opportunity for healthcare professionals, community workers and members of the public to consider and discuss the issues of alcohol abuse and the impact this has on health and wellbeing, as well as the wider social costs.

Speaking at the event, Gerry Bleakney, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement for the Public Health Agency in the Southern Area, said: “Alcohol is a significant public health and social issue in Northern Ireland and this conference is an excellent opportunity for everyone to come together to share learning and experience in order to improve the lives of those people who are most vulnerable within our local communities.”

Lynne Smart, Acting Head of Health Improvement in the Southern Trust added: “The Southern Trust works with the Public Health Agency, as well as community and voluntary groups to provide a range of services to help people deal with alcohol abuse on a daily basis. This conference has highlighted the free services available across the whole Trust, including one to one and group education sessions, accredited training, prevention programmes, parent and family support and treatment and care services. We would welcome members of the public to avail of these services if they are needed.

If you think you might have a problem with alcohol or your family and friends have expressed concerns, help is available. It is time to listen and talk about the health risks, social problems and stigmas associated with drinking. For more information contact the Southern Trust’s Drug and Alcohol Team on Tel: 028 3083 4325.”


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