With Mental Health Awareness Week drawing to a close, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has highlighted the risks that alcohol and drugs can pose to people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Owen O’Neill, the PHA’s Drug and Alcohol Lead, said: “Binge drinking and drug use, particularly in combination, can have a serious impact on your mental wellbeing as there is a strong link between drinking, drug use and depression; and hangovers and ‘coming down’ can leave you feeling anxious and low.
“Drinking and drug use can also affect your sleep by disrupting your sleep patterns and stopping you from sleeping deeply, which in turn can add to your feelings of low mood.
“If you feel that alcohol or drugs might be affecting your emotional wellbeing, seek support.
“If you or someone you are concerned about is in distress, call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 for confidential support services and advice. This is a free helpline service available 24/7. You can also access their website at www.lifelinehelpline.info
“Anyone who is concerned about depression should speak to their GP or other health professional. For more information, visit www.mindingyourhead.info
“The key thing is to get support. Don’t suffer in silence and don’t feel you have to go it alone. There is help available, so I urge anyone who is concerned that alcohol or drugs may be affecting their mood or behaviour to make use of the services that are there to support you,” concluded Owen.