Toolkit is a three part guide

At the launch are Helen McFarland, Anne Timoney Meehan and Christina McElaney. Photo Clive Wasson
At the launch are Helen McFarland, Anne Timoney Meehan and Christina McElaney. Photo Clive Wasson

A new and innovative toolkit has been launched to help communities, individuals, health care professionals and others to take action on alcohol use and misuse on the island of Ireland.

The Toolkit entitled “Community Action on Alcohol” has been developed as a cross border resource by the Alcohol Forum, based in Letterkenny Co. Donegal and Derry Healthy Cities, based in Derry and Strabane.

The Toolkit is an excellent example of cross border working to address alcohol harm.

Funding for the Toolkit was secured by the Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT) cross border health partnership, from the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme.

Speaking at the launch Mr Sean Sheridan, Alcohol Forum praised all involved in producing the document: “Alcohol Harm is having a severe impact across the island of Ireland and is negatively impacting on individuals, families and the wider community.

“There are significant costs too for our communities in terms of time lost in the workplace, public order offences and the burdens placed on our healthcare system due to excessive alcohol consumption.

“Anything that can be done to help address this serious problem is to be welcomed.

“I have no doubt that local communities, with the support of other sectors including justice, education and healthcare can play a significant role in raising awareness of alcohol harm and encouraging people to use alcohol responsibly.”

John Meehan, Chair of the Derry Healthy Cities said “I am delighted that in partnership with the Alcohol Forum we were able to secure EU funding support from CAWT to allow us to focus on alcohol harm reduction on a cross border basis.The challenge posed by alcohol misuse in our communities is common to all parts of the island of Ireland. The response to this challenge requires the input of both Governments and a range of stakeholders in all sectors. Through this toolkit we’re providing a resource that enables communities to mobilise their own inter-agency action on alcohol culture change.”