Susan Laurie

Susan is our lived experience expert. She is an author and mental health advocate specifically relating to alcohol issues and alcohol dependence.

Following university, she had a successful career in marketing in the pharmaceutical industry and was then an entrepreneur with her own company, before succumbing to a serious drinking problem. This escalated to a life-threatening situation, despite many attempts at familiar interventions including counselling, rehab and Alcoholics Anonymous.

After her recovery, she wrote the book From Rock Bottom to Sober Forever which has provided inspiration and hope to thousands of people and has been praised for the exceptional account of the stealth-like progression of addiction.

She is committed to helping anyone who is struggling with alcohol, and to helping organisations develop practical and non-judgemental resources and support for employees who may be concerned about their drinking. She uses her personal experience to educate the wider population about the reality of the impact that alcohol can have on a person, and is passionate about breaking down the stereotypes and removing the stigma associated with alcohol dependence, which can deter people from seeking help.

Susan contributed to the House of Lords Commission on Alcohol Harm and has written blogs for the Alcohol Health Alliance and Alcohol Change UK. She is a frequent guest on alcohol related podcasts and recently hosted a meeting for Public Policy Exchange where MPs and experts on alcohol harm discussed alcohol dependence and misuse. She was also recognised as a ‘Woman of The Year’ in 2020.

Webinars that Susan delivers for us include the very popular “It will never happen to me” – the lived reality of alcohol dependence and how we can help ourselves and others enjoy alcohol safely, in which she offers an essential, non-judgemental exploration of our relationship with alcohol and the reality of the progression of alcohol dependence. She helps people to consider

  • Why people might drink more than is good for them,
  • How the pandemic has impacted on drinking habits
  • How easy it is for drinking to creep up on us (tolerance and mental health)
  • The negative impact that drinking has on our physical and mental health
  • The reality of the progression of alcohol dependence
  • How we can develop a healthy relationship with alcohol by being more mindful

Susan can also offer to your workplace webinars on mindful drinking, the impact of working from home and alcohol, and alcohol at work and the role of employers.

“Susan delivered a brilliant webinar which was really well received by colleagues and perfect for marking Mental Health Awareness Week in the College. We had a really high rate of engagement, with lots of attendees posting questions and sharing their own experiences, which doesn't always happen in our lunchtime sessions!!”

Emily Lewis, Policy and Public Affairs Officer, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists