Hidden harm describes the situation of many children and young people affected by parental alcohol and drug misuse. Many suffer in silence and don't know where to turn for help. Others do not realise they are living with it.
The DHSSPS's Regional Hidden Harm Action Plan estimated that 40,000 children and young people in Northern Ireland live with parental alcohol misuse. It highlighted there may be a deep and long-lasting impact on children and young people which may not fully emerge until young adulthood and beyond.
The DICE ( Drug Intervention and Community Education ) project provides education, support and interventions for young people aged 8-21 who are care experienced and have been affected by parental alcohol and/or drug misuse. The service is available in the Armagh, Dungannon, Omagh and Fermanagh areas. Young people are helped through 1-1 interventions, group work and residential weekends away. This project also works in schools, raising awareness of the issue and encouraging potentially affected young people to seek help. The work also supports professionals to recognise and respond to "Hidden Harm" as early as possible.