Nicky Smith Wellbeing Alcohol Advisor

About Nicky:

Nicky Smith, Wellbeing Advisor (Alcohol)

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:

See also: Alcohol wellbeing on the Adur & Worthing Wellbeing website


24th December 2021: Try Dry January - get your YOU back!

2022 is almost here! As the pandemic continues we become more adept at changes and necessary restrictions imposed in order to keep the virus and new variants under control.

The new year is an ideal opportunity to reboot, recharge and focus on the year ahead. Our wellbeing matters, so now is the time to decide on what we want for ourselves, our friends and family.

Why don't you join me and my colleagues from the Wellbeing Team (Lucy, Tyler, Michelle, Jen and James) and take part in Dry January 2022?

In January 2021 6.5 million people pledged to do Dry January, up 3.9 million on the previous year. Dry January is a great way to start off the new year and a chance to give our bodies time to breathe and detox from the Christmas festivities, plus it feels fantastic not to ring in the new year with a huge hangover.

2021-12-24 - Dry January - no more hangovers, get your energy back (ACUKM)

More people than ever recognised that their alcohol had increased during the COVID lockdowns during 2020/2021. However many people are still drinking at an increasing or high risk level and not realising the risk to health.

New research from Alcohol Change UK, the charity behind Dry January, said that:

“It's all too easy to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to our drinking. Our new research shows that one in three (30%) of those drinking at increasing, or high-risk, levels believe they don't need to do Dry January because they drink 'healthily' - even though the number of units they drink is putting their health at risk. That means millions of people are putting their health at risk, but either don't realise or don't want to believe it. The new year is a great opportunity for us all to reassess our drinking.

“Did you know, alcohol consumption can be linked to over 200 diseases and injury conditions and alcohol affects our bodies and lives, physically, psychologically and socially.”

Adur & Worthing Alcohol Wellbeing is a prevention service offering extended brief interventions (EBI) for people in the increasing or high risk categories of drinking. Offering harm reduction advice and tools to help you reduce alcohol and reduce harm to health.

It is proven that 1 in 8 people who are drinking at increasing or higher risk levels, where brief advice is delivered, will reduce their drinking by 4 to 5 units per week. This figure increases when people access extended brief interventions. So we know the intervention works!

I would love people to realise that accessing brief advice (BA) or extended brief advice (EBA) before alcohol becomes an issue really helps you to get back on track. There is no stigma, no judgement in accessing support. By simply reducing alcohol, so many aspects of your health and wellbeing improve very quickly and the risk of future health related problems reduces.

2021-12-24 - Dry January - a total reset, get your you back (ACUKM)

It's time to get your YOU back! Better health, better sleep, better skin, better mood, better diet, better exercise, better relationships. It's a win, win all round.

The only thing stopping you from having a healthier relationship with alcohol, is you!

It's not too late to sign up to Dry January and download the free app - on the Alcohol Change website.

If you are aged 18+ and live, work or study in Adur or Worthing, you can access up to six private and confidential sessions and best of all it's completely free. If you want to access some extra support throughout Dry January or if you just want to reduce your units with support, you can simply self-refer to Adur & Worthing Alcohol Wellbeing find more information.

Why do Dry January?  - on the Alcohol Change website

It's time, the change is you, the change is necessary!

Wishing you all a happy 2022!!

Nicky :) x

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16th December 2021: Better Health, Let's do this!

In the run up to Christmas, we can all too often get preoccupied with the planning and organising of the winter holidays! Frequently giving ourselves the green light to indulge in the festivities, healthy eating is shelved and drinking alcohol increases.

This often puts extra pressure on us to have a healthy new year, making unrealistic goals, with no planning or preparation or meaningful strategies and support in place.

Yet, with the new year nipping at our heels, we CAN begin to prepare now for introducing realistic healthy habits for ourselves in 2022 and set our intentions to improve our health & wellbeing for Better Health!

2021-12-16 - Better health - Let's do this (NHS graphic)

It's important to remember that bad days happen, it's life, but that doesn't have to derail you from your goals? So you ate the entire christmas leftovers in one sitting?! It is only one day, use any lapse as a place to learn from.

When we have insight and are actively mindful of our behaviours, we can begin to make positive and lasting changes for our health and wellbeing.

What is mindfulness? The practice of mindfulness used as a therapeutic technique, can help with alcohol reduction, stopping smoking, nutrition and healthy eating, aiding restful sleep and getting active.

What is self-care? Focussed on four key areas: emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual health. A personalised self-care routine helps to eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimise frustration and anger, increase happiness, improve energy, and more.

2021-12-16 - Healthier lungs are my big reason to quit smoking (NHS graphic)

Top tips for better health!

  • Tell your friends and family your healthy intentions for accountability and support
  • Introduce healthy distractions and fun hobbies into your daily routine: creative writing, drawing, painting, knitting, model making, photography, gardening/growing, puzzles or colouring, and walking

If you feel you need a little more support and encouragement to keep you on track - we've got you covered ... Let's do this!

2021-12-16 - More Money is my big reason to quit smoking (NHS graphic)

As this is the last Wellbeing Blog of 2021, I wanted to share with you some tips and positivity ahead of Christmas from our Wellbeing Team:

James: “Take time to connect with nature - a walk in the woods gives space to reflect and unwind, be compassionate to yourself, open your heart and take small steps.”

Jennifer: “With all the excitement that Christmas brings, getting to bed early is important. A good sleep routine helps us feel mentally motivated and physically energised. So why not treat yourself to some restorative sleep this festive season?”

Karen: “Have a break from social media and screens. Listen to some good music, dance like no one is watching and sing along badly to all the Christmas songs!”

Norma: “Giving someone else a smile makes you both feel good.”

Therese: “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” Buddha

And lastly from myself: “Making an investment in yourself is priceless. Live in the moment, it's the only one that counts!”

From myself and all of the Wellbeing Team, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy happy New Year! ... Stay safe :) xxx

2021-12-16 - Father Christmas (krakenimages - liT5AlTmC8I - Unsplash)

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2nd December 2021: National Grief Awareness Week

This week's Wellbeing blog is helping to raise awareness around National Grief Awareness Week.

Grief and loss is something that we have all collectively experienced, particularly throughout the pandemic where individuals around the world have lost loved ones.

2021-12-02 - White rose

It's important to understand and recognise that there is no one way to grieve, it is a very individual and personal experience. Talking about grief and death is often avoided, which can be really isolating and upsetting for anyone who is grieving. It can feel or be too uncomfortable for people to acknowledge, the fear of not knowing what to say, or fear of saying the wrong thing - and too often the subject gets ignored.

By understanding the different stages of grief, we can begin to understand the emotions experienced through loss and better support each other.

The five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance were first published in 1969 by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross; 'On Death and Dying'. These stages are non-linear, meaning that there is no sequence to complete each stage, experiencing these emotions at multiple and different times in more than one cycle.

Accessing specialised bereavement services and talking through grief and loss is so important, and luckily there is much more support and understanding around bereavement nowadays.

With new understanding, the 'growing around grief' model has evolved and now recognises that grief doesn't go away, it stays with us and can be felt as strongly at times as when the person first passed. This can be triggered by special occasions, a song, a smell or place, and as individuals we can grow our lives around grief. Experiencing guilt when moving onwards can also be common.

2021-12-02 - Autumn Glade

Grief and loss are also experienced around other traumatic life events too, such as having major surgery, the loss of limbs or removal of reproductive organs, going through IVF, the breakdown of a significant relationship, job loss/losing your home and those who have experienced domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault.

Mind offers some good advice on bereavement and there are some practical and trauma responsive ways of offering support to someone who is grieving:

  • Be a good listener
  • Respect the person's way of grieving
  • Accept mood swings
  • Avoid giving advice
  • Refrain from trying to explain the loss
  • Help out with practical tasks
  • Stay connected and available
  • Offer words that touch the heart

By talking through our emotions it helps us to form a natural and healthy response to experiencing the death of a loved one, or traumatic life event. It's really important to not suffer in silence, there is support available such as talking therapies or online support groups, where you can meet like minded people who understand what you are feeling.

When we talk through our thoughts, feelings and emotions, in a safe place, we can better process and manage loss, taking one day and each step at a time through the grieving process.

If you have been affected by grief, loss and bereavement and would like to access support services, there are some helpful support service links below.

Take care, N x

Bereavement Services:

  • Cruse West Sussex: helpline 0808 808 1677
  • Sage Counselling: call 07585 141 599 a home counselling service for adults with limited mobility
  • Winston's Wish: offer support to those supporting bereaved children - helpline 08088 020 021
  • Child Bereavement UK: provide support to bereaved children and families and those supporting them - helpline 0800 02 888 40
  • Sudden: offer support when someone has died suddenly - helpline 0800 2600 400
  • BAMEStream / BAATN: bereavement support for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) adults who have been affected by the death of a loved one due to Covid-19
  • Hospice UK: 'Just B' counselling and trauma helpline 0300 303 4434 - for all NHS, care sector staff and emergency workers
  • Samaritans: helpline 116 123
  • Worthing Crematorium: 01903 872423

2021-12-02 - Durrington cemetery

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25th November 2021: Love Shouldn't Hurt

16 Days of Action against domestic violence is a campaign supported by Public Health England and began at the Women's Global Leadership Institute in 1991. Domestic violence, also called domestic abuse, includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse in couple relationships or between family members.

The 'Commons Library Parliament - Domestic Abuse and Covid-19' reported that:

“Between April and June 2020, there was a 65% increase in calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, when compared to the first three months of that year”.

The impact a victim experiences will often overflow into the workplace which organisations can no longer ignore. One in eight women experience domestic violence, Women's Aid report:

“Domestic abuse is very common, however this is often difficult to accurately quantify. Domestic abuse is a largely hidden crime, occurring primarily at home”.

The majority of victims are women, but men are also victims of domestic violence too. 16 Days of Action report:

“In 2011, over 1.2 million women and 800,000 men experienced some form of domestic violence in the UK”.

Adur & Worthing Councils Safer Communities Strategy 2021-2024 report:

“In Adur domestic abuse crimes increased by 1%, along with the number of reported incidents which increased by 5%.

“In Worthing domestic abuse crimes reduced by 12%, the number of reported incidents remain static.

“The severity of recorded domestic crimes has increased during 2020.”

Historically, the onus is placed on the victim of abuse to change or leave their situation, whilst the behaviour of the perpetrator is often left unaccountable. Adur & Worthing Councils Safer Communities Strategy 2021-2024 is flipping that script and is focussing on perpetrator behaviour and challenging the behaviours and ideology of boys and men.

Workplaces and communities can no longer disregard domestic violence impacts, as organisations can experience frequent, even prolonged employee absences and can adversely affect the business, their service model and be a financial loss. Organisations that offer training and awareness courses to staff and managers are better able to understand the complexities of domestic violence and offer support.

Recognising the signs: victims can experience some or all of these behaviours throughout an abusive relationship:

  • Physical assaults: slapping, punching, kicking, pinching, non-consensual sex
  • Verbal threats: fear of reprisal
  • Emotional abuse: putting someone down, eroding self esteem either when alone or in front of friends
  • Gas lighting: manipulating, blaming and convincing the victim, they are at fault for the perpetrators own behaviour
  • Jealousy: Accusing someone of cheating on them, whilst sometimes cheating themselves
  • Loss of confidence: victims may become quieter, overly apologetic and scared of confrontation of any kind
  • Isolation: Being prevented from having contact with friends or family
  • Controlling: Being watched, tracked on phones, looking through phones, social media or web history, wanting to know where someone is at all times
  • Financial: stealing money or making the victim pay for things they don't want to

Everyone has a fundamental human right to a life without abuse, please don't suffer in silence, you are not alone and below are some organisations in the West Sussex area that provide support.

Domestic Violence Service websites:

2021-11-25 - Person holding up a love shouldn't hurt placard (Pexels - anete-lusina - 5723325)

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11th November 2021: Alcohol Awareness Week (15th to 21st November 2021) - Alcohol & Relationships

To mark the start of this year's Alcohol Awareness Week, which runs from 15th to 21st November 2021, Adur & Worthing Wellbeing will be joining more than 4,000 other community groups across the UK to raise awareness of the ways in which alcohol can affect us and our relationships with those around us.

Relationships are defined by many different groups and sub groups: marriage or civil partnership; long term partners; families; parents; friends; colleagues; and most importantly the relationship you have with yourself.

2021-11-11 - Is drinking affecting your relationship (credit Alcohol Change)

According to Alcohol Change UK:

“In England there are an estimated 586,780 dependent drinkers. Only 18% are receiving treatment Alcohol Change - Statistics and we must acknowledge that over 200,000 children are living with an alcohol-dependent parent or carer.”

See: Alcohol statistics - on the Alcohol Change website

During Covid, cases of domestic violence rose significantly, with perpetrators taking advantage of the stay at home message, as a way to further control their partners. Whilst these issues do not affect all relationships, the report shines a light on alcohol and relationships. Due to the complexity of domestic violence, simply removing alcohol is not always enough to end the cycle of abuse.

See: Alcohol fact sheets - on the Alcohol Change website

There are very real reasons why people drink to numb feelings, issues such as: work pressures and stress, unemployment, eviction, debt, insecure housing, low wages, relationship breakdowns, grief and loss, isolation and feeling lonely, self medicating mental health issues, menopause, pain relief, domestic violence, sexual assault or past traumatic events.

When alcohol is overused as a coping strategy, the disconnect offers short term, yet harmful respite, from real feelings and emotions, causing further vulnerabilities. The underlying issues don't go away by using alcohol, they are merely numbed, intensified, becoming more ingrained and difficult to untangle overtime.

2021-11-11 - Drinking to cope (credit Alcohol Change)

If regular excessive drinking is a central aspect within a particular relationship or friendship group, it can actually stop us taking action to improve our drinking habits, even when those habits aren't working for us and can be difficult to break that cycle and insert healthier habits. By talking to each other (while we're sober!) We can help each other to better understand how alcohol might be affecting us and those around us.

Working as an Alcohol Advisor, common themes mentioned are “without alcohol, what would we talk about or do?” Or without alcohol, “I don't have anything in common with my partner now.” Is the reduction or removal of alcohol really so detrimental to the foundation of relationships? What's really hiding behind the substance?

2021-11-11 - You don't have to always be the life and soul (credit Alcohol Change)

Alcohol is fundamentally and socially accepted, many of our relationships have the presence of alcohol, whether it's drinking in the evening with a meal, socialising with friends and family, or special occasions like birthdays and weddings. Drinking is sometimes even expected, pressures to drink, sober shaming (being made to feel not drinking is wrong) is also a common theme and admitting to having alcohol issues is sadly misunderstood and still taboo.

Normalising conversations within our relationships around alcohol, is a key part of alcohol prevention services helping to reduce the stigma associated with accessing alcohol support before it becomes an issue or crisis.

2021-11-11 - Tips for healthier drinking and happier relationships (credit Alcohol Change)

When we become actively mindful of our behaviours, we can change them, learn and develop more meaningful relationships with ourselves and the relationships around us.

As with all behaviour change, change can only start with you first, if the relationships in your life are respectful and strong, they will support and encourage changes for better health and wellbeing.

Download today Adur & Worthing Wellbeing drinks diary:

To access support with any of the alcohol related issues discussed, please click on the links below, support is available.

Until next time, bye for now N :)

Some of Adur & Worthing Councils' services:

Further Drug & Alcohol Support services:

Images: credit Alcohol Change

2021-11-11 - Alcohol Awareness Week (credit Alcohol Change)

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3rd November 2021: Movember - talking about Men's Health

November is here and this week we are talking about Men's Health by supporting the valuable work of Movember. Since 2003, Movember is a leading charity helping change the face of Men's Health. Raising awareness around Mental Health & Suicide Prevention, Prostate Cancer and Testicular Cancer being identified as the biggest causes of premature deaths for men.

No matter what you grow, grow away and help raise money and awareness for Men's Health or if growing a moustache isn't your thing, you and your mates can always host a Mo-Ment and help fundraise that way:

2021-11-03 - Movember - Mark and Bobby (image credit and copyright Movember)

The overarching theme is tackling talking, as in 2021 sadly Men are still reluctant to discuss their health & wellbeing. I am not really sure why this is? Only men have the insight to truly answer this question. I have my own theories, but I am grateful for charities like Movember who are helping to shine the light on these really important health issues affecting men and are proactive in getting men to discuss and speak up!

Samaritans report:

“Men are around 3 times more likely to take their own lives than women, middle aged men have the highest suicide rates and suicide is also a leading cause of death for young people. People from a deprived communities and backgrounds are more likely to die by suicide than others, this shows suicide is not equal, it shows that this is a problem of gender and social inequality.”

A&W Wellbeing are working hard to bridge health & social inequalities that Covid highlighted. Health is universal and our Wellbeing services are inclusive, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity & disability.

Prostate Cancer UK advocates for early detection and diagnosis and there is a huge range of online resources available and helpful videos. 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer during their lifetime, affecting mainly men over 50, and the risk increases with age.

There is no proven cure for Prostate Cancer, but a healthy diet and exercise can help to prevent the risk of diagnosis. The risks are even higher for black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer also affects trans women, non-binary people who were assigned male at birth & some intersex people.

West Sussex health services are currently collecting data for Prostate cancer diagnosis, as the rates of diagnosis are on the increase, sadly there are strong indications that locally Adur district has the highest numbers of men diagnosed across West Sussex County. See:

If you are experiencing one or some of these symptoms with urination, or if you have concerns about someone you care about, book in with your GP to get checked out and our trained Wellbeing Advisors are on hand, to help you make the necessary changes you need around healthy eating and exercise for a more balanced and healthier lifestyle.

Testicular Cancer is the most common cancer in young men aged 15 to 39 years old, with Movember recognising:

“At greater than 95%, the odds of survival for men with testicular cancer are better than good - but for some men, long-term treatment-related side effects mean quality of life is severely compromised. We focus on getting these predominantly young men back to living full and healthy lives.”

Men, please get to know your bodies, recognise and acknowledge your bodily changes, as this will help you understand and act fast for early detection and prevention.

Wellbeing support services accept self-referrals, offering peace of mind that it is private and confidential, and inclusive to EVERYONE! We can motivate you to make the necessary changes you need for a healthier lifestyle, we listen, we understand and we offer a safe space, you are not alone!!

Until next time, stay safe! N :) x

(Images: credit and copyright Movember)

2021-11-03 - Movember logo (image credit and copyright Movember)

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21st October 2021: A new Sea & Sauna experience

Adur &Worthing Wellbeing Sea & Sauna, in partnership with Fire, Salt & Sea, & Swim & Tonic, with funding from Adur & Worthing Councils, is bringing a unique opportunity and alternative service that benefits all aspects of Health & Wellbeing.

After seeing David Batchelor, the owner of Fire Salt & Sea, advertising on Facebook back in May 2021 and with our Wellbeing clients in mind, I reached out to David, to see if I could help promote his business and the benefits of sauna within the A&W Wellbeing team.

My colleague, Tyler Slade, took the initiative and contacted David to see how the Councils and the Wellbeing Hub could work in partnership. Voila! Five months later, 'Sea & Sauna' was created, trialling this new initiative and driving forward an alternative approach to Wellbeing.

GPs have also begun to notice the health benefits of cold water exposure and Worthing Medical Group is already prescribing this to patients who are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Arthritis and low mood.

David Batchelor, business owner of Fire, Salt & Sea, is an advocate for contrast therapy methods, having researched the benefits of sauna for overall improved health and wellbeing.

Using the natural resources of Worthing beaches and linking in with an independent and locally run Finnish-style sauna, Sea & Sauna Wellbeing is officially up and running! The sauna has been converted from a vintage horsebox and features a genuine 200kg wood-fired stove, making the sauna experience comfortably unique.

“Adur & Worthing Wellbeing were super receptive and supportive of the idea, I always hoped to bring the diverse benefits of Sauna to the community and I am very pleased Fire, Salt & Sea are involved”.

2021-10-21 - David Batchelor, business owner of Fire, Salt & Sea

Each and every session is carefully watched over by our very own Baywatch lifeguard, Kath Lambert (Instagram @swimandtonicuk or Facebook @SwimmingKath)who is an experienced sea swimmer and swimming coach, and brings a wealth of valuable knowledge assisting each session to run smoothly & safely within Worthing's coastal waters.

Kath Lambert said:

“It's so brilliant to get a chance to collaborate with like minded people and use our coastline to its full potential. Really excited to introduce sea swimming and dipping to a new audience”

2021-10-21 - Kath Lambert - lifeguard, experienced sea swimmer and swimming coach

Every Friday for the next 8 weeks, two Sea & Sauna sessions will take place, catering up to six people for each session. Come rain or shine these sessions are mapped around Worthing high tide times, so they operate and alternate Friday afternoons and Friday evenings each week. These 45 minute, free sessions consist of alternative rounds of cold water exposure by sea dipping and the heat of the Sauna environment, which encompasses all five ways of wellbeing!

I asked some of the participants who attended a recent session to describe in one word, the Sea & Sauna experience. I was amazed at the genuine positivity coming from the group! Here's what they said:

  • Angela “Reset & Rejuvenated”
  • Nick “Exhilarated”
  • Charlie “Challenged”
  • Simon “Alive & Grounded”
  • Ainsley “Heavenly”
  • Chris “Buzzing”
  • Jackie “Uplifting”
  • Matt “Fun”

2021-10-21 - Swimmers sitting on the beach looking at the sea

It only feels right to end this week's blog with the words from Tyler Slade, who had an idea, saw a unique opportunity and collaborated to make it happen!

“It's super inspiring that these participants have taken some accountability for their own health and wellbeing, stepping out of their comfort zones and embarking on this opportunity. I'm genuinely overwhelmed and encouraged that this has life beyond just a trial and I hope that future funding can be secured, as the benefits clearly speak for themselves.”

2021-10-21 - Enjoying a group chat after a swim

Some of Adur & Worthing Councils' services:

Mental Health Support:

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14th October 2021: All things Menopause

I want to talk this week about all things Menopause, and with World Menopause Day approaching on the 18th October, this felt like a good opportunity for a Wellbeing Blog!

The Menopause has long been a taboo subject. Women's health and the health of the transgender community has been historically silenced and this has had such a negative impact on the health of women and transgender men. The good news is, this is slowly beginning to change, but there is more that we can ALL do around ensuring health access, health equality, compassion and understanding.

Menopause affects at least 50% of the workforce, so it's quite shocking that in 2021 the health needs of over half of the population are still being ignored or sidelined. This year however, Davina McCall shone a light on her own menopause journey which started at 44 years old, it was a fantastic and well received documentary 'Sex, Myths and the Menopause' on Channel 4. I would urge EVERYONE to watch this! Menopause doesn't just affect women, and with it being a leading factor of divorce, it is so important that men are confident and able to support their partners and employees.

We need men in the workplace and at home to feel comfortable to discuss menopausal issues, to take an interest and active role to contribute to the conversation, whilst reflecting and addressing on their own supporting roles. By taking ownership to listen, learn and understand, allows safe and non-judgemental spaces to open up, helping normalise the conversations around Menopause.

So what are some of the symptoms of Menopause?

On average, most symptoms can last around four years from your last period. However, approximately one in every 10 women can experience them for up to 12 years. Menopause begins when your periods have stopped for 365 days. If you get your period on day 364 you are still perimenopausal and will need to count again to 365 days from the date of your last period to know when you have reached menopause.

Approximately 8 in every 10 women will have additional symptoms for some time before and after their periods stop. These can have a significant impact on daily life for some women.

Common symptoms include:
(links to NHS website included below)

It's easy to see how the Menopause can have a negative impact on work and personal relationships. Talking about the Menopause before it begins is so important, having awareness helps implement appropriate adjustments of support and offers much needed validation and understanding.

There are treatments available to help manage symptoms, known as HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) which can be prescribed with creams or patches. It is important that you discuss with your GP what options are available to you, as for some there is a small risk of developing breast cancer, but this is relatively low and your GP can advise you further. Once you know what treatments are available, you are better able to make an informed decision of what is the right treatment for you.

Keep a look out for some menopause awareness sessions, which are open to all, so watch this space!

But until then, bye for now!

:)

Some of Adur & Worthing Councils' services:

Menopause resource websites:

2021-10-14 - Woman looking out to sea silhouetted against the sun (Pexels - Evelina-Zhu - 5693884)

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7th October 2021: Stop Smoking, Start Breathing...

And in a flash October is upon us, with autumn signalling a new season, which often brings a reflective element into the year. It is a good time to take stock and evaluate ourselves, to make healthier and positive changes ahead of the festive season and the new year.

NHS Stoptober is here in partnership with Public Health England to stop smoking for good. In Stoptober’s 10th year, join the thousands of people who stop smoking and start doing so much more. Quit for 28 days and you’re five times more likely to quit for good. The benefits of stopping smoking are tenfold and fall into health, wealth & wellbeing.

Data from the UCL Smoking Toolkit Study indicates that smoking rates among young adults in England have increased since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, making this year's Stoptober mass-quit attempt even more important! We have been lucky to have Chloe Gatland working in the Wellbeing team, on our Kickstarter placement, busy preparing for October, stop smoking projects and engaging with younger audiences. It is so much easier to stop addictive habits at a younger age and the success rates for remaining smoke-free are much higher!

Preparing to quit is more than just willpower alone, it’s about being practical. It’s about having a plan, understanding why you smoke, finding an option that’s best for you and having people support you. There are many supportive resources available to help you along your stop smoking journey! Adur & Worthing Wellbeing has stop smoking cessation services, offering one-to-one support and will issue all stop smoking aids and NRT (nicotine replacement therapies) and when you access support, you boost your chances of quitting by up to three times!

There is a NHS app, which is great at keeping you on track to hit your non-smoking goals, keeping you on track and accountable, earning badges along the way and information on how your health is improving! And Join the Facebook group for further support and advice.

NHS Better Health/Quit Smoking has lots of useful information you can access and below is some of that information, which explains the real benefits of stopping smoking.

2021-10-07 - Stop smoking banner

When you do stop smoking, did you know?

  • After 20 minutes your pulse rate will start to return to normal
  • After 8 hours your oxygen levels begin to recover and carbon monoxide levels in your bloodstream reduce by half
  • After 48 hours all the carbon monoxide is flushed out, your lungs are clearing and your sense of taste and smell improve
  • After 72 hours breathing feels easier and your energy levels are beginning to increase
  • After 2 to 12 weeks your circulation will improve, meaning blood is able to pump better through your heart and muscles
  • After 3 – 9 months your lung capacity and function improves by 10%
  • After 1 year the risks of a heart attack have halved compared with a smoker
  • After 10 years your risk of death from lung cancer is also halved compared with a smoker

In 2021 the average smoker can save £5.21 a day, £36.47 a week, £156.30 a month and £1,875.60 a year by stopping smoking! And with more than 36 locations offering Stop Smoking Services in West Sussex, what’s stopping you from stopping smoking?

Stop listening to your smoking Gremlins, or as my dad used to call them, the Biffers & the Giffers! Choose YOU! YOUR health is important, YOUR money is valuable, YOU are important!! And repeat!

Join the thousands of people who are stopping smoking this October. For free support search ‘Stoptober’ or click the links below to find support near you!

Stop Smoking Support:

Until the next time, breathe easy!

:)

2021-10-07 - Stop smoking artwork

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Page last updated: 04 January 2022

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