Nicky Smith Wellbeing Alcohol Advisor
Nicky Smith has worked for Adur & Worthing Councils since October 2020 and is currently an Alcohol Wellbeing Advisor.
Nicky's role is to work with adults 18+, who live, work and study in Adur & Worthing, who do not already have a dependency with alcohol. Supporting people to reduce their alcohol use and better understand their relationship with alcohol, whilst making small but positive changes to improve their overall wellbeing.
The alcohol prevention service is delivered via a blended approach of 1:1 extended brief interventions via video, telephone, walk and talk sessions and face to face.
Outside of work Nicky enjoys being creative and has a degree in fine art. Her creativity also connects her with nature and the environment, growing flowers and veggies and she is actively involved in community gardening projects.
You can read Nicky's current blog posts on this page below:
This week we are discussing men’s health to encourage men, of all ages to prioritise improving their health and fitness. It’s no secret that men are often reluctant to seek help with health concerns. The reasons are often ingrained around perceived male expectations, but these expectations are outdated, as getting help early can avoid the devastating effects of a late diagnosis, especially with cancers.
West Sussex health services are collecting data for Prostate cancer diagnosis, as rates of diagnosis are rising, with strong indications that Adur district has the highest numbers of men diagnosed across West Sussex County. Click the NHS link What Are the Five Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer? If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, or if you have concerns about someone you care about, book in with your GP to get checked out!
During the pandemic covid exposed the mental health crisis and social & economic inequalities across the UK. These are very real and very complex issues affecting us here in West Sussex and relevant when addressing men’s reluctance to ask for help.
With decades of sustained austerity, lack of funding for services, low wages & job insecurity, high rents, poor housing options, poor diet, increased drinking, relationship & family units breaking down and the gentrification of urban areas, these are just some of the reasons that men may feel unable, isolated or embarrassed to say they would like or need help.
Among men and boys the age group with the highest suicide rate was 45 to 49 years (25.5 deaths per 100,000). On this, The Office for National Statistics said:
“Generally, higher rates of suicide among middle aged men in recent years might be because this group is more likely to be affected by economic adversity, alcoholism, and isolation. It could also be that this group is less inclined to seek help.”
We all have an individual role in changing the future statistics for men's health. Men need to start talking openly about their physical & mental health. To support this, we collectively as partners, family members, friends and colleagues, need to encourage and offer a safe space for this to happen.
I recently met with Tyler Slade, who is a Wellbeing Advisor, who actively advocates for men’s health & wellbeing both inside and outside of his professional role.
“The hard truth is action is required in order to prevent potential problems… It’s OK to put your hand up and say I need some support, guidance or help, that takes real courage. Our service is here to assist with this, we are there to encourage a lifestyle where you feel happier and healthier.” Follow Tyler's Story here
Tyler is exploring a new project for a men’s wellbeing group, using the free resources of our Sussex coast, making it financially accessible, linking with established swimming groups and a new Wellbeing sauna experience, that’s documented to have amazing health benefits. I will be discussing this in more detail in future wellbeing blogs.
A&W Communities & Wellbeing Team offers a wide range of preventative services that are free, private and confidential, for adults who live, work or study in Adur and Worthing - providing vital information and local support services. Click on the links below to find out more...
Until the next time, bye for now :)
Some of Adur & Worthing Councils’ services:
- Going Local - Social Prescribing
- One Stop Junction
- A&W Wellbeing: Alcohol reduction, Stop Smoking cessation support, Falls prevention activities, Get Active Programmed Events, Cookery Skills Intuitive Thinking lifestyle courses, Weight Management Courses & Pre-Diabetes Support
Mental Health Support
Over the next coming weeks and months, I will be blogging in more detail about the Communities & Wellbeing Team, giving my own insight into Wellbeing and what works for me, as well as helping you to discover the key to your own wellbeing journey and linking to A&W community projects.
We hear the term Wellbeing so much nowadays, I first heard it at Glastonbury Music festivals (many moons ago). For a long time, Wellbeing seemed out of reach and conjured up images of people expertly doing yoga on beaches and practising meditation on mountains, or indeed showing off their physical stamina outside their Argos bought tent at a music festival!
Wellbeing for me, means literally deciding to put your own health and happiness first and finding what makes you happy (plus this was more relatable, than learning yoga outside my tent, with everyone judging my inability to balance and bend like an actual human being!).
Wellbeing encompasses all aspects of health, physical activity, mental health, as well as creativity and connection with our own uniqueness and individuality. What is interesting, is what works for one person's Wellbeing, doesn't mean it will work for everyone. Wellbeing isn't a, one size fits all, off you go, you're sorted now! Wellbeing is an individual journey, allowing yourself the time and space to explore, change and grow through the process.
The one thing I can guarantee for everyone, is that your Wellbeing never leaves! You are stuck with it, whether it is currently good or bad, it is your's to own, ignore or nurture. Your own wellbeing is literally sitting there, waiting for YOU to choose it first, (unlike the picking of school sports teams, but that's a different story and for a different day!)
At A&W Wellbeing and wider communities team, there is a dedicated network of staff that deliver private and confidential person centred support, helping people to discover a life free of behaviours that are holding back their potential.
Whether it's through accessing preventative alcohol reduction, stopping smoking, weight loss, behaviour change, heath assessments, healthy eating, basic cookery skills, getting active, prevention of diabetes, falls prevention, family wellbeing for children above a healthy weight or a bespoke Workplace Health package for your business.
So what are you waiting for? Check out our A&W Wellbeing website, you are just one click away from Wellbeing.
Until the next time ... Bye for now!
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Page last updated: 17 June 2021