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LIT Recognised for Efforts to Reduce Harm Experienced by Students from Excess Use of Alcohol

LIT was one of just 10 Irish third level institutions that received the REACT (Responding to Excessive Consumption of Alcohol in Third Level) award in recognition of the college’s efforts to reduce harm experienced by students from excess use of alcohol.

At the inaugural presentation ceremony in Dublin City University, The Minister of State for Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD congratulated the 10 institutions involved in this ground-breaking initiative including LIT.

Students and staff from LIT were required to complete eight mandatory actions and pick from a larger suite of 18 optional actions to devise and implement their own institution-specific local action plans rolled out over the past four years.

In 2015, 15 of the country’s third level institutions expressed an interest in committing to the programme, which was developed by UCC Health Matters in collaboration with the Union of Students in Ireland and the Irish Student Health Association and jointly funded by the HSE and the Philanthropic Tomar Trust. Over the four years, 10 of the institutions continued their efforts and details of their actions were submitted for evaluation and accreditation by independent reviewers in June this year, with all 10 recognised at the awards ceremony.

LIT was represented at the awards ceremony by LIT SU President Jade Foynes and LIT Academic Administrator & Student Affairs Manager Linda Barry. Noreen Keane, LIT Counselling, and Lorraine McCarthy, LIT Nurse, also played a key role in LIT achieving the REACT AWARD.

Amongst the many actions implemented across the institutions were the provision of an on-line behavioural change tool on alcohol for incoming first year students, the inclusion of alcohol and intoxication as a named hazard to be considered in planning and running large scale student events and the training of university staff in the delivery of screening and brief intervention therapy.

A key part of the success of the initiative has been the support of the Union of Students in Ireland and the local student leaders in each of the participating institutions. Dr. Michael Byrne, the Director of REACT from University College Cork, said,

“REACT is about working in partnership with our students to address the issue of harms from excess alcohol. It is an innovative way of encouraging institutions to translate good intentions into actions and paper-based policies into whole institution plans.”

The institutions who received the REACT award were LIT, DCU, IT Sligo, IT Tralee, Letterkenny IT, Limerick IT, Mary Immaculate College, National University of Ireland Galway, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and University of Limerick.

LIT receives REACT award from Minister of State for Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD. Photographed left to right: Director of REACT Dr. Michael Byrne (UCC); LIT Academic Administrator & Student Affairs Manager Linda Barry, Minister Mitchell O’Connor  and SU President Jade Foynes .
LIT receives REACT award from Minister of State for Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD. Photographed left to right: Director of REACT Dr. Michael Byrne (UCC); LIT Academic Administrator & Student Affairs Manager Linda Barry, Minister Mitchell O’Connor and SU President Jade Foynes.
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