Suicide prevention campaign steps up a gear to encourage talking to save lives through Covid-Christmastime

Lancashire and South Cumbria residents are being encouraged to talk to friends and family members, helplines and debt support services in the run-up to Christmas this year.

As the second national coronavirus lockdown comes to an end, and people take stock of their finances on the approach to the festive season, the local health and care partnership has launched the next phase of the Let’s Keep Talking campaign.

People furloughed, unemployed or coping with a drop in self-employed work are being asked to start a conversation with loved ones, or reach out to telephone counselling services to address their problems, take practical steps, and get help with their mental health.

The first two phases of the Let’s Keep Talking campaign saw more people than ever reaching out to local and national services for help as they battled the effects of the pandemic. New materials have now been developed with different messaging to reflect the current situation.

Materials include:

  • New creative designs for local health and care organisations to use, working together to share campaign messages with their clients and patients.
  • Targeted instream radio advertising to smart-speaker listeners of Bauer Media radio stations in Lancashire and South Cumbria.
  • Bus stop advertising in targeted, high-risk areas in Lancashire and South Cumbria.
  • Social media advertising.
  • There are posters and mental health support leaflets available for businesses and organisations with a footfall throughout lockdown and beyond.

 Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS Mental Health Deputy Director, Paul Hopley said:

“I cannot overstate how important it is for people to keep talking to one another on the run up to Christmas. This can be a very difficult time for a lot of people, who have already had a challenging year.                 

The pandemic is not going away soon, so by talking on the phone or by video message to others, we can share the load. There is always someone to talk to, and there are many organisations out there ready to offer a listening ear.

Anyone struggling should call Samaritans on 116123, the National Debtline on 0808 808 4000, or any of the organisations we have listed on our website.”

Find out more about the mental health and wellbeing support available for you in Lancashire and South Cumbria.