Mitch Winehouse has stated that education around drinking is ‘inconsistent or non existent’ in response to new Government figures on health inequalities and premature death rates in the UK.
The figures were published today (11th June) by Public Health England, via its new Longer Lives website (http://longerlives.phe.org.uk/). On BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt pointed out that they were ‘shocking’, and that education was key in addressing the issues behind the statistics, such as obesity, smoking and drinking.
Mitch is in full agreement that education plays a vital role in improving the nation’s wellbeing. However, he is adamant that any such education has to be timely, consistent and effective – and that such education programmes in secondary schools have historically been either ‘inconsistent or non existent’.
He states: ‘In the few areas that do have educational programmes that cover alcohol, these only happen once or twice a year and don’t include any teacher training, parent engagement or ongoing student support.
‘That is why the Amy Winehouse Foundation has set up its own programme. We believe it will change drug and alcohol education in this country for the better. It works as education as it looks at why people drink or use drugs, and is delivered in partnership with the specialist treatment charity, Addaction’.
The Amy Winehouse Resilience Programme for Schools currently operates in ten sites across the UK, but Mr. Winehouse urges councils – who have been responsible for tackling local public health problems since April – to look closely at what is being provided in their communities.
‘The government agrees that prevention is better than cure when it comes to these important issues’ says Mr. Winehouse, ‘which is exactly why we must get programmes – like the Amy Winehouse Reslience Programme – into schools.