Introducing Focus ARBD

Like the Patients Council, Focus ARBD is a collective advocacy organisation. It was formed by a group of people with Alcohol Related Brain Damage (ARBD) and supporters in 2012 to raise awareness and understanding of the condition, challenge stigma and campaign for better services, aims which are pretty similar to those of the Patients Council.

Alcohol Related Brain Damage isn’t a well- known or publicised condition. When people think of the damage done by alcohol, they think of liver disease, not brain damage. People get ARBD through years of heavy drinking and a poor diet. People with the condition may have (to varying degrees) poor short term memory; difficulties with their balance; problems with learning new skills (like using a mobile); difficulties dealing with “official” telephone conversations or letters; mood swings and a lack of motivation. The numbers of people with ARBD are rising. More women are being affected and people are getting it at a younger age as a result of recent changes in drinking habits.

Focus ARBD is a national organisation which has done most of its work in Glasgow until recently. In November 2013, we obtained funding to set up a group in Edinburgh. Since then, we’ve been contacting organisations which may know people who have or might have ARBD to publicise the group’s work.

We contacted David Budd and Maggie McIvor to talk about links with the Patients Council. We know that sometimes people with ARBD are referred to mental health services and we also know that some people who may have ARBD have used the Ritson Clinic at the Royal Edinburgh.

The first task for Focus ARBD in Edinburgh is to get in touch with people who might want to be members of the group here. If members of the Patients Council can help us spread the word about the group, that would be great. The contact details for our Group Development Workers, Chris and Sally, are below.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Contact Details

Chris Vickerman: 0131 228 8590 or 07917 283760

Sally Dick: 0131 667 2497 or 07917 324615


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