Beer being poured into a glass

Consuming too much alcohol can hurt your body and have negative social consequences.

30 June 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some people may have found themselves drinking more alcohol to cope with the anxiety, depression and stress that has come with these uncertain times.

Unfortunately, drinking more alcohol can cause ill-health, risk-taking behaviour, mental health issues and violence. It’s important that if you’re going to drink, to do so in moderation and to acknowledge that the implications of COVID-19 can create stress, anxiety and depression, and that alcohol is not a healthy short-term fix.

The ACT Government is committed to supporting all Canberrans to make healthier lifestyle choices through the Healthy Canberra ACT Preventive Health Plan 2020-2025. Reducing risky behaviours, including risky drinking, is one of five priority areas of the Plan.

Through the ACT Health Promotion Grants Program, the ACT Government is currently funding a range of organisations to deliver projects which prevent or reduce alcohol-related harm in our community. For example:

  • Australia Red Cross’s Save-a-mate which supports young people and their parents/carers to recognise and respond to alcohol and drug related emergencies
  • AIDS Action Council of the ACT’s Not So Straight Up project is working with LGBTIQ+ communities to reduce risky drinking behaviours and lifetime alcohol-related harm
  • Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education’s Pregnant Pause is creating an environment where women are supported by the whole community to have alcohol-free pregnancies
  • Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education’s Preventing Alcohol-Related Chronic Disease is raising awareness of the range of long-term health harms associated with drinking alcohol
  • Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services is delivering a program focused on preventing and reducing the risk of alcohol-related harm in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Canberra Health Services’ P.A.R.T.Y Outreach Program is working with high school students to teach them about making informed choices and identifying potential consequences of risk- taking behaviours, including drinking alcohol

Due to COVID-19 many of these programs have adapted to continue to help members of the community. This includes some programs, including the P.A.R.T.Y program, moving online with the first group of high school students at St Mary MacKillop College to trial this new delivery in Term 2, 2020.

If you think you need help to manage your alcohol intake, or if you want to help someone you care for, reach out for help by contacting the 24/7 Alcohol and Drug Services helpline on 5124 9977 or Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services on (02) 6284 6222.

All Canberra

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