Let’s break the connection between conversations about alcohol and mental health

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As a society, we need to get rid of the myth that it is comfortable for people to talk about mental health while consuming alcohol.

Alcohol acts as a catalyst to amplify other challenges related to mental health. Is alcohol consumption so normalized in this country that people cannot see this part of the conversation?

As a society, we need to get rid of the myth that it is comfortable for people to talk about mental health while consuming alcohol.

We also need to convince the campaigns that raise awareness of societal challenges such as mental health the most not to fall victim to quick cash advertising by promoting a “fantastic and innovative new alcohol brand”.

Teaming up with the very catalyst that causes such devastation and challenges in our society lacks integrity and genuine knowledge to identify the root cause of the problem.

There are far too many lives lost from alcohol use and abuse to mental health, suicide and violence across the country.

MensLine Australia says on its website: “It is a tragedy that the coping mechanisms chosen for so many guys are the ones that cause the most damage to mental health.

Alcohol is often used as a coping mechanism.

Alcohol is often used as a coping mechanism.Credit:Georges doyle

The most recent cause of death data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that alcohol-induced death rates increased 8.3% in 2020. It also highlights the link between alcohol and suicide, with alcohol and drugs being the most common risk factor for men under 44 who committed suicide in the past year.

Alcohol consumption and standardization is problematic for many reasons across our country.

A first Australian study that classified drug harms, looked at 22 different drugs and measured the risks to individuals as well as the harm to society. He found that alcohol was the most harmful drug when the harm to users and others was combined, compared to drugs such as crystal meth (ice) and heroin.

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While I understand that an important part of covering up or evading mental health issues is through alcohol, I think we can have a more honest and mature conversation about the real issue we have with mental health. alcohol consumption as a nation.

Mental health issues have only increased during the pandemic, and not only do we need to have an honest history with ourselves about drinking alcohol, but when do we say NO, alcohol does? not belong, and should not sponsor, conversations about mental health management.

As someone who has witnessed the devastation this brings to communities, it certainly has no place in, beside, or in any part of the mental health conversation.

Are we as a country ready for this conversation?

Joe Williams is a Waradjuri / Wolgalu man, mental health and trauma recovery advocate and former professional athlete. www.joewilliams.com.au.


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