Children and Alcohol - NOT a good mix

Representatives from health, education and the community recently attended a conference entitled “Children & Alcohol – NOT a good mix, what we can do to reduce the harm” to explore the issues around children and alcohol intake. The conference was organised by the Northern Trust Community Support Project, in partnership with Moyle Policing & Community Safety Partnership (PCSP).

People are presenting with alcohol related illnesses at an increasingly earlier stage in their lives. Guest speakers at the conference included Councillor Joan Baird; Dr Michael McKay from the Centre of Public Health at John Moores University; Constable Mark Crawford from the PSNI Neighbourhood Policing Team and Anne Timony Meehan from the Alcohol Forum. They spoke about how alcohol impacts on the young person; emotionally and socially, how alcohol is the main cause of underage crime and what Moyle, as a community can do to reduce alcohol related harms.

Emma McElhone, Community Support Officer in the Northern Trust said: “It is easier to prevent children from getting used to alcohol than it is to intervene once patterns of behaviour are firmly established, so it is a good idea to talk to them before their teen years and before their friends do.

"It is important that we communicate clearly the effects of alcohol and make sure our communities and in particular our children, are much better informed of the consequences of excessive drinking. It is key we get these messages out to our children at the earliest opportunity to have a chance at making a difference".

The collective message from the conference was the need for collaboration locally and regionally to address local and societal issues with alcohol. The Northern Trust, PSNI and PCSP are committed to supporting local initiatives to look at this issue.

The event was organised as part of a community mobilisation project funded by Moyle PCSP.

If you require further information on the effects of alcohol on children please contact Emma McElhone on 028 2563 6600 or email: emma.mcelhone@northerntrust.hscni.net.

Left to Right: Emma Mc Elhonem,Northern  Trust, Dr Michael Mc Kay, Cllr Joan Baird, Moyle PCSP Chair, Anne Timoney Meehan, Alcohol Forum, Constable Mark Crawford, PSNI and Bridgeen Butler, PCSP Manager

Page last updated:07 April 2014