Health and care partners in Lancashire and South Cumbria have today launched the next phase of their suicide prevention campaign encouraging residents to keep talking throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The first phase of the Let’s Keep Talking campaign saw more people than ever reaching out to local and national services for help. But the local health and care partnership remain concerned that people’s mental health will continue to be adversely affected during the uncertain times ahead as the pandemic continues.

In the early stages of lockdown, organisations worked together to share campaign messages encouraging people to talk to friends and family to cope with stress, anxiety, and social isolation – and to signpost people to mental health support.

Following on from this, Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) has refreshed materials with updated messaging to reflect the new normal. Materials include posters, leaflets, and social media images. The partnership has also worked with Global Radio, owners of Rock FM, to use instream radio and digital advertising to target the key audiences.

As with the earlier campaign, the four main audiences are:

  • Young people and older teenagers.
  • Parents who are juggling home working and limited childcare.
  • Men who have been furloughed, made redundant or who are self-employed.
  • Older and vulnerable people getting used to the new normal.

ICS Mental Health Deputy Director, Paul Hopley said:

“We know that lots of people struggled with lockdown, and life may still be difficult to navigate as we return to a new normal.

“As the pandemic continues, creating even more uncertainty, we understand the pressures and challenges people are facing and how this will impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

“It’s vitally important that people have sufficient emotional support and reach out to their friends and family. 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.”