People living in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have been encouraged to ‘keep talking’ throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) – a partnership of NHS, social care and local authority organisations across the region – has this week launched a suicide prevention campaign.
The ICS is concerned people’s mental health will be adversely affected as people have been asked to stay at home and self-isolate during the current lockdown period.
To tackle this, materials have been created to share on social media and via local community hubs asking people to call their friends and family and keep talking by text, phone and video call, while social-distancing measures are in place.
The four main audiences are:
- Young people and older teenagers used to spending lots of time with their friends.
- Parents who are juggling home working and home schooling.
- Men who have been furloughed, made redundant or who are self-employed.
- Older and vulnerable people who are self-isolating.
ICS mental health deputy director Paul Hopley said: “We know lots of people are struggling with having to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic and with lockdown being extended for another three weeks the effect on people’s mental health could be staggering.
“Some people are used to having a lot of face-to-face contact with friends and family, while others might find that being furloughed or having cancelled work contracts has given them a lot of time to worry.
“As well as practical support it is important people have sufficient emotional support and reach out virtually to their networks. If that’s not possible they need to know there are many organisations out there ready to offer them a listening ear.
“Anyone struggling should call Samaritans on 116123 or any of the organisations we listed at healthierlsc.co.uk/MentalHealthSupport.”