Heineken Booklet imageUHN is collaborating with Heineken Canada together with The Health Alliance on Alcohol to help parents educate young people about the responsible use of alcohol through the production of three educational booklets.

"Parents often have a difficult time discussing the use of alcohol with their teenage sons and daughters," says Jan Lackstrom, Clinical Director, Departments of Psychiatry, Spiritual Care and Family and Community Health and one of the contributing editors.

"With the Health Alliance on Alcohol, we have provided parents with important information about alcohol use and tips on how to approach the subject with the teen and pre-teen members of their families."

The first publication, Talking to Teens: Underage Drinking covers basic information such as the effects of alcohol on the body, intoxication, alcohol poisoning, and binge drinking. It guides parents on how to initiate conversations with early, middle and late adolescents. Tom Vella, Regional Business Development

Manager for Heineken Canada says: "Our goal is to open the lines of communication by educating parents on suggested methods of communicating with teens. The booklets suggest a unique approach to conversations with teens—tailoring the conversation to make it appropriate to the developmental stages of the adolescents."

Talking to Teens: Underage Drinking is now available in both English and French print versions. It is also available online at healthallianceonalcohol.ca. Distribution of the publication will be across UHN sites at such locations as the Patient Education Centres, and nationally as well through agencies and organizations who share a similar concern for the responsible use of alcohol at any age. The next publication will be Talking to Teens: Peer Pressure.

Also contributing to the project were Dr. Leslie Buckley, Clinic Head, Addiction Psychiatry Services and James Skembaris, Manager, Addiction Services. Dr. Buckley and James work in the Addictions Outpatient Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital.

The relationship between Heineken Canada and UHN was established through Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation supporter and volunteer Danielle Iversen and her firm, that PR thing inc. As Mr. Vella points out, this innovative partnership marks the  first time a major medical institution has joined with an alcohol beverage company to address the issue of underage consumption of alcohol. "We are very proud to have UHN has a strategic partner for this national program. It is only through the staff's dedication and expertise that we are able to bring this program to life across Canada."​

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