Enjoy the Euro 2024 your own way - say mental health Trust - The Solihull Observer

Enjoy the Euro 2024 your own way - say mental health Trust

Solihull Editorial 18th Jun, 2024   0

THE NUMBER of relapses in alcohol addiction spikes up to 47 per cent when England play at the Euros – according to Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT).

As England get ready to take on Denmark on Thursday as part of their Euro 2024 campaign the Trust is calling on fans to remember that not everyone may feel comfortable being surrounded by people drinking or the temptation of betting.

The Trust says there are around 1,000 adults across Solihull getting support for their addiction.

Substance use can lead to feelings of loneliness, shame, and guilt. It doesn’t discriminate and can impact anyone, of any age, in any circumstance.

Solihull Integrated Addiction Services (SIAS) has reported that almost half of their clients lapse from their abstinence when England play at the Euros.

Alcohol and betting are often present in British football, whether that be via sponsorships or through the advertising.

Nicholas Aston, hub manager at SIAS said: “For the individual, we understand how cultural events increase a real or perceived pressure to use substances, this includes the European football tournament which may contribute towards an increase or relapse to alcohol use.

“Therefore, it is important to know where help is at hand, should you need it.

“Please feel encouraged to reach out and connect, whether that be a close friend, family member, or a professional who specialises in substance use and recovery. For those who like football, we wish everyone to enjoy this summer of football, without substances getting in the way.”

BSMHFT have offered the following advice to avoid relapse:

  • Listen to your body – negative emotions like fear, anger or anxiety can trigger some people. If you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out for help.
  • Note environmental triggers – this includes the people, places and events that were once associated with your addiction. Limit your exposure to pubs, clubs, or betting shops in the build up to the day.
  • Enjoy the game in your own way – find what works for you and stick to it! Set your boundaries on what you are comfortable with and enjoy the match.
  • Note changes in behaviour – if someone you love is looking uncomfortable or irritable, it could be a sign they are getting triggered.
  • Challenge unhelpful thoughts – if you find yourself thinking “I’ll just have one” or “It’s only a small bet” think of what happened in the past in similar situations and evaluate if your thoughts are on course with what took place.
  •  Seek help – you don’t have to go it alone. There is always someone to listen to you. If you’re struggling, please reach out to an understanding friend, loved one or mental health professional.

As well as addiction support, Solihull Integrated Addiction Service (SIAS) offers a range of free, confidential, and non-judgemental services for families, regardless of if the concerned person is in treatment or not.

Anyone who wants to access the Family Support service, or just find out a bit more about it, call 0121 301 4141 or email [email protected].

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