#StartTheConversation

Campaign launches to encourage talking to save lives

Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) has this week launched a suicide prevention campaign encouraging residents to “keep talking” throughout the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.

The ICS is concerned that people’s mental health will be adversely affected in Lancashire and South Cumbria as people stay home during lockdown and selfisolation. To tackle this, the ICS has created materials 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 that lots of people are struggling with having to stay home during coronavirus, and with lockdown being extended 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’s important that people have sufficient emotional support and reach out virtually to their networks. If that’s not possible they need to know that 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 have listed on our website healthierlsc.co.uk/MentalHealthSupport.”