Diageo partners with University of Washington to provide training on responsible drinking

Case study

University of Washington logo

Prevention and intervention efforts to reduce harmful drinking are an important priority on college campuses in the United States. Increasingly, colleges are seeking proactive integrated approaches that promote wellness while identifying risk factors that may lead to more severe problematic behaviour.  The Health and Wellness department at the University of Washington has been a leader in this integrated proactive approach and helping other colleges and universities build capacity so a variety of risky behaviours are addressed.  

In February 2016, Diageo North America officially partnered with the Health and Wellness Centre at the University of Washington who offered their training services to Central Washington University (CWU) over six months.  The staff training included how to administer a tested tool known as Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS), one of the most efficacious individually focused interventions to reduce harmful drinking in college settings.

The program trained 25 Health & Wellness Centre staff and 9 medical staff on the campus in brief alcohol screening assessment. The impact of the two trainings was exciting:  the medical staff saw an 18% increase in knowledge of techniques for BASICS and they felt more comfortable conducting brief interventions for alcohol-related harm issues and incorporating brief alcohol interventions into their everyday work with college students. Of those trained, there was a 29% increase in knowledge about how to use these strategies in their work with students, and a 51% increase in comfort levels to use the strategies for responding to and reducing resistance to alcohol harm.

At the end of the session, CWU replaced programmes that did not have demonstrated effectiveness with college students and is using the 2017/18 academic year to roll out the strategies they learned including BASICS, to better manage and address alcohol harm.  Diageo has been funding the training of professionals in screening and brief intervention techniques for more than a decade, and this pilot involving BASICS training is the second we have supported at the college level.