14 / 12 / 2013 3.50pm
The NHS Employers organisation has teamed up with Public Health England and Alcohol Concern to bring you Dry January 2014. A campaign to stay alcohol free for 31 days. Register here to take part.
A period of time off can provide an opportunity for people to take stock of their relationship with alcohol during the rest of the year. During Dry January we are encouraging staff from every part of the NHS to get involved in this exciting and challenging campaign.
Whatever your reasons are, cutting back after Christmas, tightening the purse strings or losing a few pounds - this is a great opportunity to set yourself a target for the new year and start building a healthier future.
In November we asked trusts to get in touch to tell us if they'd be interested in being involved in the pilot.
Over 30 trusts from across the NHS in England are taking part, and each trust will be running their own local campaign. We've given them the resources and we'll be providing support to help them throughout the month.
Don't worry though if your trust hasn't signed up, you can still get involved. Just register your details then download the free resources.
A happier healthier you
Some of the benefits of giving up alcohol for a short period can include: improved sleep, weight loss, improved skin and hair quality, and of course saving money. But most importantly, it gives you the chance to review your alcohol consumption and, if you need to, to adjust it for the longer term to keep the risks from alcohol low.
Speak to your local health and wellbeing team and they should be able to give you more information on the benefits of cutting down your alcohol intake.
Help is at hand
Because we've teamed up with Alcohol Concern and Public Health England that means we've got a whole load of resources at our disposal. So, if you're in need of a bit of support then you can check out the Dry January daily tipster throughout the 31 days for some inspiring ideas to keep you going. Alcohol Concern also have expert panel Q&A sessions running throuoghout January. And, you can access resources on the Change for Life website provided by Public Health England.
We'll be following a few people (including our own chief executive, Dean Royles) throughout their 31 day Dry January journey with blogs. Watch this space for more information.
Why are we doing this?
Lost productivity and absenteeism due to alcohol costs the economy 17 million working days and £7bn a year. It is estimated that around a quarter of people in the UK drink above the lower risk guidelines.
This campaign presents an excellent opportunity to spread the key messages and facts about alcohol use to a diverse audience with a potential reach of 1.3 million NHS staff.
Public Health England is supporting the campaign by funding evaluation and research to assess the effectiveness of the campaign in changing behaviour and reducing alcohol consumption by participants in the longer term.
What have you got to lose?
Rally round with colleagues, family and friends and take the challenge - set yourselves a goal, plan something fun to do each weekend instead of drinking - then at the end of the 31 days see for yourself whether reducing your alcohol intake has made a difference and think about how you want to take it forward. Register your details and get ready to go dry.
Please get in touch with us and tell us about your personal or team or organisational Dry January journey - email: email@example.com