NENC Suicide Prevention Network publishes revised mental health and wellbeing guide

The North East and North Cumbria (NENC) Suicide Prevention Network has revised and refreshed its mental health and wellbeing guide, as part of a collaboration with suicide prevention charity, Every Life Matters Cumbria.

NENC’s Suicide Prevention Network and the charity jointly launched a suicide prevention campaign called ‘look after yourself, look out for others, and get help early’ last spring, to raise awareness of mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new guide was partnered with three short animations to promote its messages, as part of the project.

The guide, entitled ‘Wellbeing and mental health during COVID-19: A guide to looking after yourself and others’, has recently been revised to reflect ‘growing understanding’ of how to protect wellbeing during COVID-19.

Intended to advise, support and signpost where to get help, the guide is complemented by the three animations, which each focus on a different idea; ‘Look after yourself’, ‘Look out for others’, ‘Get help early’.

The bright, colourful and friendly videos last for a combined 2 minutes and 37 seconds, and advise:

  • Staying connected to those around you
  • Volunteering or helping out others
  • Staying healthy by eating well and exercising
  • Getting outside and doing things you enjoy
  • Taking up new challenges
  • Keeping a routine
  • Limiting your exposure to news and only then from trusted sources
  • Reach out if you’re struggling
  • Be ‘helpfully nosy’ if concerned about others
  • Enlist professional support
  • Don’t be afraid to ask directly if someone is considering suicide.

Chris Wood, Development Manager at Every Life Matters, said:“We know a lot of people are feeling more stressed or anxious right now. These are challenging times, and though we have an end in sight now to restrictions we still have a way to travel, and Covid-19 will likely continue to exert an influence on our lives for most of 2021.

“It is important during this time to be kind to ourselves and keep doing the things that we now know are effective at protecting our mental health. And if you do find yourself struggling, remember as well that it is OK to reach out for help. The earlier we get support the less a mental health issue will progress.”

Katherine McGleenan, North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Lead, added: “I have worked in the region as a mental health nurse for many years and know that getting the right information and support, at the right time, is not always straight forward. Often people either don’t know how or where to find support, or don’t want to ask for help, often due to the stigma. We hope that this guide and these animations will encourage people to start conversations.

“We want everyone, whatever their circumstances, to know there is support available, and to know how to access help if needed, and that they don’t need to cope alone.”

The animations are available to watch individually, or fully, via Youtube, or on the Every Life Matters website.

You can read the full and revised guide, here.