Initiative Launched To Study Affect Of Parental Alcohol Abuse On Children

A new initiative has been launched to highlight the impacts of parental alcohol misuse on children.

The project called 'Silent Voices' aims to promote an understanding of the issue and develop a support mechanism for those affected.

Alcohol Action Ireland (AAL), who are behind the scheme, estimated that around 400,000 Irish adults were raised in alcohol-impacted families.

Meanwhile, 200,000 young children are likely to be impacted by parental alcohol misuse.

The driving force behind the initiative are three women who experienced the issue as children: Carol Fawsitt, Marion Rackard and Barbara Whelan.

Mrs Fawsitt, who is the acting Chair of AAL said: "Parental alcohol misuse, and its negative impacts on children, is something that rarely gets an airing or acknowledgement in Irish society.

"Many of us from all walks of life have grown up under a shadow of alcohol misuse.

"The harms and negative impacts of growing up under this shadow can manifest themselves in different ways, but especially at a time of life change, such as a family bereavement, redundancy or pregnancy.

"It's my experience that life change with a backdrop of parental alcohol misuse can take its toll, and services, such as counselling, often don't recognise the link between parental alcohol misuse and trauma in adult children.

"For adult children, our message is this: if you are experiencing trauma in your life, seek help and don't be afraid to do so."

The scheme aims to grow awareness of alcohol harm to others, through direct engagement with practitioners and service providers.

It plans to engage with national sign-posting services, so that anyone seeking help can clearly avail of help services and know what to expect.


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