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5 December 2018

£450k to help families affected by alcohol

Nearly half a million pounds is to be invested in a new support project in Brighton & Hove for children whose parents are alcohol dependent.

The city-wide project, which starts in January, will help give parents the confidence to ask for help and get the support they need to reduce their alcohol dependency.

Brighton & Hove is one of only nine areas in the country to have successfully bid for funding from Public Health England to support projects in this field.

The chair of the city’s health and wellbeing board, Councillor Karen Barford, said: “This project is about identifying issues in families early and giving the whole family the support they need.

“There can be all sorts of reasons why a parent may be drinking to a level that impacts on their children.

“Parents in this position are often concerned about coming forward in case they are penalised for their dependency in some way.

“We want to reassure parents and families that we will adopt a supportive, ‘no-blame’ culture.

“We want parents to feel safe and confident in seeking support.

“Our focus will be on helping children thrive by reducing parental conflict, improving parenting skills and helping parents address the root causes of their addiction.

“Part of this will involve what we call ‘mentalisation therapy’. This builds parents’ motivation to see the situation from their child’s perspective.

“Brighton Youth Oasis will run 12-week therapeutic programmes for a number of children and young people to help build their resilience and improve their mental health.

“We will work closely with the NHS and local community groups to deliver this project, whilst engaging with a wide range of partners to help identify and support children and parents who are affected by alcohol-related issues.”

The new funding is the result of a successful bid by Brighton & Hove City Council and local partners including the Brighton Oasis Project, Sussex University and the council’s drugs and alcohol support services – Ruok for children and young people, and Pavilions for adults.