12 Jun, 2012 Last updated: 30 Nov, 2014

Victorians now have a way of assessing their use of alcohol with a new online tool launched by the Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge.

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Victorians now have a way of assessing their use of alcohol with a new online tool launched by the Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge.

Say When, a free and confidential online tool, gives Victorian adults a chance to assess their drinking and what it means for their health and wellbeing. 

Ms Wooldridge said that Say When will fill an important gap for Victorians who drink alcohol.

“Most people know that risky drinking is harmful – but the trouble is, very few can confidently define what risky drinking is,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“Few people consider each drink they have in the context of what else they’ve drunk that night, that week or that year – and the idea of asking for more guidance is daunting.

“This tool enables people to inform themselves by doing a self-assessment anonymously, confidentially and in the privacy of their own home.”

Minister Wooldridge said that Say When offers personalised assessment of a person’s drinking, and whether they are at risk of alcohol-related illness or injury.

“As well as guiding users through an assessment of their own drinking habits, Say When includes a comprehensive self-guided program to help users reduce their drinking, with motivational enhancements and interactive tools,” Minister Wooldridge said.

Say When was developed by Queensland University of Technology and is supported by VicHealth.

Jerril Rechter, VicHealth CEO, said that Say When is a safe, non-threatening way for people to see how their own drinking habits stack up – and if they want to, make a change.

Say When is a drinking health check. It’s been carefully designed to be supportive and informative, without finger wagging or labelling people who – like most Australians – enjoy a drink,” she said.

“At the same time, it does give people the chance to make small changes to their drinking habits and lessen their risk of injury and developing serious health issues later on.”

North Melbourne AFL coach Brad Scott, who helped launch Say When, said that understanding alcohol use was an important consideration when assessing health and fitness.

“Thinking about food and exercise is only part of the equation when it comes to taking care of our own health and wellbeing,” Mr Scott said.

“Thinking about your drinking is another really important way – and Say When is a great place to start.

“It’s about finding out what’s safe and what isn’t when it comes to alcohol, and adjusting to habits that are safer and healthier in the long term.”

Ms Wooldridge said the site also lists a range of telephone and web-based help services for people who want to tap into any number of Victorian Government-funded alcohol services.

A targeted campaign will roll out from today, with resources distributed to GPs, pharmacists, the primary health sector, workplaces, libraries and sporting clubs.

“The campaign will seek to reach Victorian drinkers, directly through Facebook advertising, and indirectly through their healthcare providers, clubs and community places,” Ms Wooldridge said.

Minister Woodridge said that anyone completing a drinking self-assessment by 31 August 2012 has the chance to win a $3,000 pack of Apple products, including an iMac, iPad and Apple TV kit.

Say When can be found on the Better Health Channel at www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/saywhen, or by typing ‘say when’ into Google. Say When is proudly supported by the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth).