An emotive cinema campaign targeting alcohol misuse, risk taking behaviour and early intervention has been running in cinemas across Northern Ireland in conjunction with alcohol awareness week.
The aim of this Policing and Community Safety Partnership initiative is to encourage conversations between parents/guardians and young children, adopting a harm reduction approach.
The overall message is the power of parental influence – start thinking before they start drinking.
The ‘My Name is Katie’ campaign initially featured across the Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady and Moyle Council areas.
The aim was to see the campaign develop through new activities, with the resource being adapted for roll out across all cinemas in Northern Ireland.
Ballymoney PCSP chair Thomas McKeown said the project will achieve an increase in awareness among parents in respect of early and appropriate communication with their children around alcohol.
“The campaign allows for around 95,000 guaranteed admissions across NI cinemas per week, so we are getting the message across.
“While it might be tempting for parents to delay speaking to their children about alcohol until they are older and more mature, we know opening a dialogue in their pre-teen years is crucial to delaying the age of first drink.
“We recommend parents start the conversation with their children when they are most receptive and before the teen years when increased peer pressure kicks in.”