Alcohol, substance misuse and addictive behaviours such as gambling are closely linked with our mental health. They can be the cause or a coping mechanism when things are going badly but their use often adds to the problems.
It is unrealistic to think that people will stop doing things they enjoy. Instead SToRMS tries to make people aware of the risks. WISETALKERS helps people identify when someone is in distress and using alcohol etc as coping strategies, and how to support them to get the help they need.
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Socialising with friends has been shown to help improve low mood and reduce stress. Alcohol may be part of this, and in small amounts may help people to unwind.
However, larger amounts of alcohol can have a depressant effect which may worsen an already low mood. It is important to understand the effects of alcohol so that socialising can be enjoyed safely.
Sometimes people with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues use alcohol to help them deal with their problems. However it can often produce feelings of sadness, anger, or anxiety and intensify the negative feelings it was supposed to conquer. Research presented by drinkware suggests that alcohol is “linked to a range of issues from depression and memory loss to suicide.”
Alcohol can remove inhibitions, distort perspectives, cause impulsive and irrational decision making and predispose to dangerous behaviours/ risk taking. For those experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts, alcohol can tip the balance between life and death.
SToRMS believes that we need to raise awareness regarding the risks of alcohol, and the negative impact it can have on our mental wellbeing, and ultimately our safety. This core principle underlines all of our strategies.