About Alcohol Awareness Week

Alcohol Awareness Week is a week of awareness-raising, campaigning for change, and more. Alcohol Awareness Week 2020 took place from 16-22 November 2020 on the theme of Alcohol and mental health.

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About Alcohol Awareness Week 2020

When?

16-22 November 2020.

What?

Alcohol Awareness Week is a chance for the UK to get thinking about drinking. It’s a week of awareness-raising, campaigning for change, and more. The theme for Alcohol Awareness Week 2020 is ‘Alcohol and mental health’.

Who?

Alcohol Awareness Week is coordinated by us, Alcohol Change UK. Over 4,000 public health teams, workplaces, GP surgeries, pharmacies, hospitals, charities and other community groups across the country have signed up to take part. It's easy to get involved - just follow the sign up link below!

Alcohol and mental health

The COVID-19 pandemic is making everything that little bit more difficult right now and when stress and worry creep into our lives, our drinking habits can suffer.

But what many of us don’t realise is that drinking too much and too often can make our mental health problems worse - such as anxiety and depression - and prevent them from being properly addressed.

Read the findings from our latest survey showing over half of drinkers in the UK have turned to alcohol for mental health reasons during the pandemic.

Read more

So for this Alcohol Awareness Week, we will be looking at the issues around alcohol and mental health the best ways to look after ourselves and those we love during a year of great change and uncertainty.

Themes across the week

Monday: Alcohol and mental health: what’s the link?

The relationship between alcohol and mental health is complex. Alcohol is sometimes used by people to try and manage symptoms of anxiety and depression. But excessive drinking is likely to make those symptoms worse. Managing your drinking and getting the right support can help improve your mental health and wellbeing.

On Monday, we'll be highlighting the link between alcohol and mental health and how by making changes to our drinking behaviour we can reduce our risk of developing or worsening mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Tuesday: Mythbusting

Today we’re debunking some of the common myths around alcohol and mental health. Lots of us rely on alcohol to help us relax, unwind, socialise, sleep, and try to cope when we’re feeling low. Is it time to think again?

Wednesday: The sharp end

Many people can experience problems with their alcohol use and their mental health at the same time, and can have many other complex needs. Today we explore the issues and share stories from those who are improving their own or other’s lives.

We also explore the need for more to be done to ensure that people who are seeking support for alcohol and mental health problems are able to access joined-up help which is tailored to their individual needs.

Thursday: Our stories

Across the UK, people are making changes to their drinking and improving their mental health. Today we share some of their stories.

Friday: Time to act

Be kind to yourself and others by doing something positive today. On Friday, we set out some actions you can take to help manage your own drinking and to support your loved ones if they're struggling. We also share some other ways to make a difference by helping us to improve lives across the UK.

Saturday: The need for change


Today we’re sharing information and stories around the complexities of alcohol and mental health and encouraging us all to share best practice examples and work together to learn more about the interventions that support those with complex needs.

Sunday: What next?

Over 4,000 GP surgeries, charities, local authorities, pharmacies, hospitals and other community groups across the UK have joined this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week campaign to raise awareness of the link between alcohol and mental health.

Let’s continue to conversation. Help people in your community to reset their relationship with alcohol by supporting our Dry January campaign.

You can also join us for our first online interactive conference ‘Working with the whole person: Alcohol, mental health and complex needs’. Book your ticket today!

Buy your printed resources

Order your 'ready to go' printed leaflets, posters and scratchcards today in support of your alcohol awareness campaign.

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Alcohol Change UK works to end serious alcohol harm in the UK.

Find out more about our work