As the honoured chair of Nacoa it is wonderful to see that this Addiction Awareness week there is a focus on thought leadership and a theme of 'everybody knows somebody'. Which chimes completely with the very ethos and work of Nacoa.
I witness first hand how much Nacoa lead as 'an expert in its field' and is easily accessed for reliable, approachable, and up to date expert advice and guidance for many services, including schools and healthcare departments to name just a couple. Nacoa uses a variety of innovative ways to engage with people seeking to know more, which spreads much needed awareness. Of course the ripple effect of this is huge for the people who matter the most - the children of parents who are alcoholics. All of this in addition to it's core, exceptional helpline which is available for children to call directly for very much needed support, and leads children, the best it can, through an incredibly challenging time and experiences.
There is a movement in some services (including healthcare as a whole) that urges professionals to think about trauma, the spectrum of which society experiences trauma, and also in how people surviving trauma are responded to and supported. There is a movement away from asking 'what is wrong with you?' to 'what has happened to you?'. A change in dynamic from 'fixing someone' to really getting alongside someone in a way that helps them feel safely empowered to lead their own healing and survival with the security of consistent and compassionate support from others. As a charity Nacoa leads the way in this, in the purest and most genuine nature. It keeps Coa's at the heart of everything it does, recognises and responds to their trauma, not becoming distracted or caught up in a corporate world or a self-fulfilling image - Nacoa leads with integrity and clarity.
'Everybody knows somebody' very much echo's Nacoas' focus of 'you are not alone', ensuring children know they are not alone, that there is support for them, and also other people who experience parents with alcohol dependency and all the complexities that brings. In a society that can 'other' people, Nacoa creates an inclusive family feel for its team and those that come into contact with them, that says 'we' not 'you' or 'I', which at it's foundation, is one of the many reasons that Nacoa lead so well in their area of expertise.