Mental health of young people in Ireland at risk due to alcohol abuse, says charity
"We want people to become more conscious of their relationship with alcohol."
The mental health of young people in Ireland is at risk due to alcohol abuse.
Alcohol Action Ireland and Mental Health Ireland have said that the considerable links between alcohol and mental health challenges need to be recognised and dealt with.
To mark this year's World Mental Health Day, the two charities have teamed up to raise awareness of the harmful effects alcohol abuse has on a person's mental health - especially those who are already suffering.
Martin Rogan, CEO of Mental Health Ireland, said that the co-existence of alcohol and mental health related issues is referred to as a "dual diagnosis."
“The research is clear; many Irish people seek the short-term refuge of alcohol at a time of personal difficulty or crisis, which can compound their original difficulty, as alcohol is a depressant," he said.
“We want people to become more conscious of their relationship with alcohol, if it has moved from being associated with a social of special occasion, there is a risk of a growing dependency.
"Women with addiction problems may too have experienced domestic violence, further increasing their risk of experiencing mental health difficulties and indeed hampering their recovery from addition."
The charity believes that upwards of 200,000 children in Ireland are currently living in families where parental alcohol misuse is a common occurrence.
This can, in turn, negatively affect a child's mental health as they grow older.
Dr. Sheila Gilheany, CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland, said that the link between alcohol misuse and mental illness is often overlooked when it comes to research.
"Given the weight of evidence and research about the effects of alcohol on mental health across the lifespan, and indeed across generations, we believe a more joined up approach to tackling alcohol-related harms is hugely important," she said.
"By working together, we hope to influence and shape public policy on these issues.”
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Samaritans on (01) 671 0071.