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Residents encouraged to keep talking about mental health during national lockdown

Article date - 18 January 2021

This Blue Monday people are being encouraged to turn it into Brew Monday to talk to friends, family and those they trust about their mental health as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
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St Helens Borough Council is backing the Let’s Get Talking campaign through it’s OK2ASK suicide prevention campaign. Let’s Get Talking encourages people who may be struggling to have a chat with someone they trust. And today, Monday 18th January is recognised as Blue Monday when people may feel low so OK2ASK is using it as an opportunity to chat to others about how we are feeling over a brew.

The pandemic has affected everyone, but it is thought that some groups such as young people, people who have been furloughed and key workers, as well as those who are vulnerable and isolated, may be particularly struggling with poor mental health.

Let’s Get Talking is a campaign from CHAMPS public health collaborative of directors of public health across Merseyside and Cheshire.

The campaign asks those who may know someone who is vulnerable or isolated to reach out to them. For those who do not have someone to speak to or who need extra support, the campaign includes signposting to key organisations that can help.

The campaign links to the ‘Kind to Your Mind’ campaign website which offers signposting to local services and various mental wellbeing resources including podcasts, information and free online CBT counselling.

Councillor Anthony Burns, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, said: “It’s vital for our mental wellbeing that we keep talking openly about how we feel and our OK2ASK campaign is all about breaking down the stigma and removing the fear of talking to someone about how you feel. I know that there are plenty of men who wouldn’t dream of doing this normally so please use the Brew Monday as an opportunity to check in with dads, brothers, sons or mates in particular to see how they are doing.

“Blue Monday is always seen as one of the hardest days of the year, and with lockdown and the stresses this brings it’s all the more important we turn the focus to something we can all do to recognise the struggles many are facing. So we recommend that we turn Blue Monday to Brew Monday, take time out with a cuppa to chat to someone who might need that chat now more than ever.”

Sue Forster, Director of Public Health, added: “With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to affect our everyday lives, some people will be struggling with feelings of anxiety and stress. If this is you, it is important to know that you are not alone and to reach out to someone close to you to talk through how you are feeling. The ‘Let’s keep talking’ campaign is a great reminder to do this, and to let you know that if you need it, extra help is at hand.

“Through the Kind to Your Mind website you will find mental wellbeing resources and information about services in your local area who can help you with whatever you are struggling with.”

Danny Sculthorpe, Ex-professional rugby player and State of Mind mental health champion who is supporting the campaign said:

“From my own experience, I know it can be hard to choose to talk to someone when you are struggling with your mental health, but it is so important that you do. Sharing what you are going through can help to reduce the burden. ‘Let’s keep talking’ is an important message at the best of times, but now more than ever before. I am pleased to support this campaign and help to get the message out there.”

For information on organisations and services that can help if you are struggling with your mental health, visit the Kind to Your Mind website www.kindtoyourmind.org