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Working Together to Promote Mental Wellbeing in the Northern Trust

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The Northern Trust is today (Monday 7 September), marking the launch of a regional mental health and emotional wellbeing campaign – “Working Together To Promote Mental Wellbeing”.

The campaign is being launched by the Public Health Agency (PHA), along with five Health and Social Care Trusts, the NI Ambulance Service and the Health and Social Care Board who, along with the community and voluntary sectors, are working together to promote ways to support our mental wellbeing. It will involve co-ordinated messages and support links on social media alongside an updated resources website www.mindingyourhead.info

Over the next five weeks the campaign will focus on ‘Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing’, which offers practical ideas to help support people with protecting and improving their own mental wellbeing and those around them.

The Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing; Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give are evidence based, easy to follow steps to help maintain and improve your wellbeing.

Dr. Petra Corr, Interim Director of Mental Health, Learning Disability and Community Planning, for the Northern Trust, said:

“The last number of months have been particularly challenging for everyone so we’re keen to combine our resources in order to reach as many people as possible. During this campaign we would urge everyone in the Northern Trust area to become mindful of their mental health and emotional wellbeing and to take steps to actively look after themselves. The Take 5 messages are practical steps that everyone can build into their daily lives in order to improve their wellbeing. We will be providing lots of information via our social media channels about what is available in the Northern Trust area and online and would encourage everyone to get involved.”

“This week also sees World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September. It is vitally important to remind people that if they or someone they know is experiencing a crisis, that the 24/7crisis helpline Lifeline (0808 808 8000) is available at all times.

“It’s important that we take action to prevent people reaching crisis point so we would encourage people to recognise the signs in themselves and others and know where they can get help as early as possible.”

Week one of the campaign focuses on ‘Connect’ and is being led by the recently appointed Interim Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland, Professor Siobhan O’Neill.

Commenting ahead of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day, Professor O’Neill said:

“Across the world, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds. On Thursday people will come together in solidarity and spread awareness of how suicide can be prevented. In Northern Ireland we continue to have rates of suicide that are higher than any other UK region, and this remains very concerning. As Mental Health Champion, I will drive forward the actions within the ‘Protect Life 2’ Suicide Prevention Strategy and ensure suicide prevention is considered in all key policies.

I am passionate that we encourage everyone to look after their mental health and become our mental health champions, and in doing so look after ourselves and support others. ‘Take 5 steps to wellbeing’ is a set of tools we can all use daily, to help care for ourselves. As someone who uses these for my own wellbeing, I know they make a difference,” Professor O’Neill added.

Selena Ramsey, Health and Wellbeing Manager, for the Northern Trust, said:

“The campaign is an excellent opportunity for everyone in the community to work together over the next five weeks to build awareness of local services and the organisations on the ground working tirelessly to support people.

It is important to remember that mental health services continue to operate across Northern Ireland at this time. If you are concerned about your physical or emotional wellbeing, you should contact your GP.”

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