Health and Wellbeing

Are you giving Dry January a go, or wish you were?

Scott from our Wellbeing team tell us more about Dry January and the support available to students if alcohol is an issue…

It’s a new year, we’re all feeling the after-effects of the Christmas period (some for the better, some for the worse), and what better way to start 2019 off than Dry January. This month is the month that Alcohol Change UK encourages people to give up drinking and go ‘dry’.

Reasons to give Dry January a go

The potential health benefits of reducing alcohol intake are massive, and according to Alcohol Change UK, can be as important as significantly reducing the risks of cancer, high blood pressure, and depression (amongst other things). In fact, the Chief Medical Officers – who are the top medical experts in the UK – say that people should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, and that this amount should be spread out over at least 3 days, with at least 2 days of the week off.

Try it yourself and see…

  • how it could benefit their wellbeing
  • how much money they can save as a result of not spending it on alcohol
  • whether they can go for a whole month drink-free


  • do it for charity and raise money for giving it a go
  • replace alcohol with something healthy, to maximise the potential health benefits.


It’s never too late, try a ‘Dry-erJanuary’

We’re already into January, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go for a month without alcohol (this month doesn’t have the exclusive rights to not drinking). Or, you could just aim to make some reductions in your alcohol in-take, every little helps!

Why not give it a try and see whether you can reduce alcohol, whilst also trying something new that could benefit you. How about exercise? Or buying healthier food with the money you’ll save? Or investing in some mindfulness resources like the Headspace app, to give your mental health some attention?


Concerned about your drinking? Speak to Taith

If you have concerns about your drinking – or the use of any other substance – you can utilize the support at the dedicated drug and alcohol service Taith, which offers advice and support to students who may be unsure of their needs to make informed decisions about changing their substance use.

On the first Tuesday of every month in term-time, Taith offer one-to-one sessions at the Student Centre at 50 Park Placeto provide confidential, specialised support, advice and information in a safe place.

Four slots are available at 17:00, 17:30, 18:00 and 18:30, and appointments are allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Once you have registered for an appointment, you will be sent an email confirming which slot you have been allocated.

Please note that appointment booking closes at 12:00 the day before each session.


Finding things difficult? Contact us

If you are finding things difficult at the moment and you would like further support, please know that the Cardiff University Support Services are here for you – there is no problem too big or too small, and we offer a range of flexible support options including:

Watch our video to meet our friendly and approachable staff, who will listen to you non-judgmentally, in a safe and confidential space.


Have you seen your GP?

If you are worried that you are experiencing physical symptoms that may be affecting your health, we strongly advise you to make a GP appointment to discuss this. If you do not already have a GP, please contact NHS Wales on 0845 46 47 or check out their website to view all of your GP options.


Your feedback and help please

Have you found this blog post useful?  Please help us by commenting in the comments bar below, and  if there is anything further you’d like to know ask your questions there too.

We’d also be grateful if you can share this information by re-tweeting or sharing with your fellow students who may find this useful – you can do this by using the share buttons or via twitter and facebook.

Best wishes,

Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Team.

Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice and MoneyCareers and EmployabilityCounselling, Health and WellbeingDisability and Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.


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