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Jeff Cuthbert: Students are 'not alone' during results

With thousands of students across the country due to receive their exam results over the next two weeks, Jeff Cuthbert AM says it is important for them to know that they are 'not alone' during this stressful time.

Waiting for exam results can be very stressful for young people and marks a major personal landmark when they are getting ready for the next stage of their lives. Their results will be a key factor as they look at options for the future.

It is important that they know they are not alone and that if they need to discuss and get help with their concerns, that they have somewhere to go where they can speak freely, confidentially and anonymously.

In previous years, Meic has made a real difference in helping young people who have gone through the same emotions and feelings. Meic gives them a chance to voice their concerns and ensures they are listened to.

– Jeff Cuthbert AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty

Click here to visit the Meic website for help and advice

Welsh Govt offers students support for exam results

Student taking exam
Thousands of students across the country will receive their exam results in the next two weeks. Credit: PA

Pupils who feel stressed as they await their A-Level, GCSE and other exam results can find emotional support through Meic, says Communities Minister Jeff Cuthbert.

Meic is the Welsh Government-funded advocacy, information and advice service for children and young people.

With results due over the next two weeks, the service is highlighting the emotional support it offers to those waiting to see how they have done in their GCSEs and A-Levels.

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Heart disease numbers falling in Wales

The number of people living with heart disease in Wales is falling, according to a new report out today.

Heart disease
Credit: PA Images

The report 'Together for Health' published by the Welsh Government, shows there were 125,567 people living with coronary heart disease in in 2012-2013.

That's 8,040 fewer than in 2006-07, which is a reduction of 6%.

Heart disease however remains an issue in Wales claiming the lives of more than 4,300 people a year.

Treating such diseases also remains a concern making up 8% of the overall NHS expenditure. Between 2011-12 on circulatory disease, which includes stroke and cardiac diseases, hospitals spent more than £442m.

"This report shows a drop in both the number of people living with heart disease and dying from it. Admissions to hospital have also fallen as a result of better care in community settings.

"However, we must continue to tackle heart disease which remains a major cause of death in Wales. We will continue to invest in services, improve early diagnosis and prevent the causes of the disease, including cutting smoking levels and encouraging people to adopt healthier lifestyles."

– Prof Mark Drakeford, Health Minister

Tories support minimum alcohol pricing in Wales

The Welsh Conservatives are supporting moves to introduce minimum alcohol pricing in Wales. That's despite a controversial decision last year by David Cameron to drop a similar plan for England. The Prime Minister feared it would be 'unworkable' and open to legal challenge.

But the party's Shadow Health Minister in the Assembly, Darren Millar, says it can work in Wales.

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Minimum price only targets problem drinkers says minister

Health Minister Mark Drakeford has welcomed today's expert report on minimum alcohol pricing which he says adds to the evidence that the move would help cut problem drinking.

And he says it won't have any impact on social drinkers.

Most people whose budgets are tight are sensible drinkers, the drink they buy will already be above the 50p minimum price per unit we propose. The evidence in today's report is that this will not have an impact on people who are living in pretty modest circumstances. It will help us to target people whose drinking has gone beyond that."

Most people whose budgets are tight are sensible drinkers, the drink they buy will already be above the 50p minimum price per unit we propose. The evidence in today's report is that this will not have an impact on people who are living in pretty modest circumstances. It will help us to target people whose drinking has gone beyond that.

– Mark Drakeford AM, Health Minister

Your Views: A minimum price for alcohol in Wales?

The price of a drink could go up in Wales if the Welsh Government takes the advice of experts and put a minimum of 50p a unit on a drink.

Alcohol
Experts say alcohol in Wales should cost at least 50p a unit. Credit: PA

Plans to introduce a minimum price for alcohol have been backed by a panel advising ministers on substance misuse.

Experts said the measure would protect vulnerable people, boost public health and improve community life. It could become law in 2015.

We'd like to know what your opinions are. Would you be happy to pay more for the cheapest alcohol and what effect to you think it will have on Wales?

Email us at wales@itv.com or at facebook or on twitter @ITVWales

Health minister: 'Indisputable evidence price of alcohol matters'

The health minister Mark Drakeford says today's report supports the view that a minimum unit pricing of alcohol will help prevent alcohol misuse in Wales.

The Welsh Government first introduced the proposals in a public health White Paper in April which also included a ban on e-cigarettes in public places.

"There is indisputable evidence that the price of alcohol matters. It is no coincidence that as the affordability of alcohol has improved substantially so has alcohol-related death and disease.

“A minimum unit price will make a strong contribution to preventing alcohol overuse and misuse and reducing alcohol-associated illnesses. The panel’s report supports this view. “We will now develop our proposals further with a view to introducing the Public Health Bill in early 2015.”

– Professor Mark Drakeford

Independent panel calls for minimum alcohol pricing

The Welsh Government should introduce the minimum unit pricing of alcohol, an independent health panel has recommended.

Red wine
Credit: PA Images

The Welsh Government’s Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse (APoSM)says it would help to address alcohol-related harm among people most affected by hazardous and harmful levels of drinking.

Wales has a higher rate of alcohol-related deaths than England. There were 504 alcohol-related deaths in 2012.

In the last 10 years, alcohol misuse accounted for more than 5,000 deaths in England and Wales.

“Alcohol health and social harm problems are preventable. Expert evidence and research confirms cheaper drinks are favoured by those who drink hazardously or harmfully, and a minimum unit price would have a disproportionate targeting effect on problematic drinking, reducing alcohol problems and achieving health and other benefits for individuals and our communities as a whole."

– Kyrie Ll James, chair of the Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse

Last year, the UK Government made a controversial u-turnon the issue due to a 'lack of convincing evidence' that it would have an impact on alcohol consumption.

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