The campaign was launched after a VicHealth survey in Victoria, Australia found that middle aged men were at the highest risk of alcohol harm during COVID-19 lockdown.
According to the survey conducted among 2,000 Victorians during the first coronavirus lockdown it was found that men aged 45-54 years,
- reported consuming alcohol more frequently during the lockdown period compared with the state average (28% compared with 18%).
- were four times more likely to consume more than four standard units of alcohol on a single occasion at least weekly than women of the same age (18% compared with 4%).
- stated the reason for more alcohol use was feeling anxious or stressed (64%) and being bored (61%).
In response to these findings VicHealth has joined with Hello Sunday Morning to launch a campaign to reduce alcohol harm among men. The main feature of the campaign is to encourage people who have alcohol problems to use the Daybreak app.
The app allows people suffering from alcohol problems to seek confidential support digitally to overcome the problem.
We encourage men who’ve noticed they’re [consuming] more alcohol products than before coronavirus to download the Daybreak app to access confidential health advice and a supportive community to reduce their [alcohol use] and protect their health,” said Dr Sandro Demaio, CEO of VicHealth, as per their website.Dr Sandro Demaio, CEO, VicHealth
Adding to the stressors of the ongoing pandemic, the alcohol industry is also exploiting the crisis to market alcohol heavily and unethically as a method to cope during this difficult time for many people.
Coronavirus has created a lot of uncertainty for many people in our community,” said Dr Demaio, as per the VicHealth website.
Concerningly and at the same time, we’ve seen an increase in advertising from the alcohol industry promoting their products as a way to cope and get through this tough time.”Dr Sandro Demaio, CEO, VicHealth
Through the app people can set goals to reduce their harm from alcohol and work with health professionals to achieve them. The app provides much needed support to men to overcome alcohol problems and stop using alcohol as a coping mechanism. As it is a digital app it is available even during the pandemic physical distancing measures and lockdowns. It helps with one of the most important aspects in recovery, connection with others.
Users can work together with Hello Sunday Morning’s team of health professionals to track their personal progress through weekly check-ins, and a supportive online community, all within a secure environment,” said Andy Moore, CEO of Hello Sunday Morning, as per VicHealth website.Andy Moore, CEO, Hello Sunday Morning
The Daybreak app has already been shown positive results. Last year in a survey of 293 Daybreak users it was found that average weekly alcohol consumption fell by more than half over three months.