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EU funding for fostering a responsible attitude towards alcohol

EU funding for fostering a responsible attitude towards alcohol

Ljubljana, 2 October 2017 - Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy, the Managing Authority for ERDF, ESF and Cohesion fund, issued a grant decision for Setting up an integrated interdisciplinary approach to detection of and support to reducing hazardous and harmful drinking among adults – SOPA. The project is worth a total of EUR 6 million, and the ESF contribution to the project amounts to EUR 4.8 million.

The SOPA project targets adults with harmful and hazardous alcohol consumption or members of community who are exposed to harmful consequences of own excessive drinking or excessive drinking of others. Because excessive or heavy drinking increases the risk of unemployment and gives rise to a number of social problems, the goal of the project is to put in place a system-wide integrated approach to recognition and tackling of the issue of excessive alcohol consumption, which will, indirectly help lower the risk of unemployment.
The SOPA project includes a number of different expert profiles, it provides a wide geographical coverage, facilitates the integration of local, regional and national stakeholders and encourages their networking, and offers several entry points to end users.   

The SOPA project delivers training to professional healthcare workers at community healthcare centres, staff at social work centres, counsellors at employment service offices and to a number of NGO representatives in order to make them able to recognise individuals with the problem of hazardous and harmful drinking and to design appropriate interventions in order to help them. The issue will also be tackled with the help of a number of entry points across the country which will respond to users’ intervention needs. One of the criteria for the selection of entry points is that a particular entry points reaches out to as wide an intervention group as possible (including people with disabilities, the unemployed etc.) with the objective of increasing the level of social inclusion regardless of the characteristics of end users. The project is comprehensive in terms of its geographical coverage as well, as interventions will be carried out in 18 local settings. Participation of an array of local stakeholders in the project is expected to boost capacity building and improve the skills needed for implementing the interventions at the local level.

For more information, please refer to the Ministry of Health and National Institute of Health.

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