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Mayor backs PHA's Working Together to Promote Mental Wellbeing campaign

07 September 2020

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian Tierney, has given his backing to a new mental health and emotional wellbeing campaign, launched this week by the Public Health Agency (PHA).

'Working Together to Promote Mental Well Being' is a partnership between the PHA, the five Health and Social Care Trusts, the NI Ambulance Service and the Health and Social Care Board, who will work together to promote ways to support our mental wellbeing.

Over the next five weeks the campaign will focus on the 'Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing' initiative which offers practical ideas to help support people with protecting and improving their own mental health and those around them.

The campaign will include co-ordinated messages and links to support on social media including to the updated resources website mindingyourhead.info.

Mayor Tierney encouraged the public in Derry and Strabane to look after their own mental health by considering introducing the five steps to their own routine.

"During the restrictions to reduce the spread of Covid 19, the need to be conscious of looking after our mental health and wellbeing has come into sharp focus," he said.

"Changes to routine and uncertainty about the future are among the trigger factors that have made this a difficult period mentally for many.

"There are small practical steps to your daily routine that can have a major positive impact on your mood and I would encourage people to access the guidance at mindingyourhead.info and get involved over the next five weeks."

The Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing are evidence based, easy to follow steps to help maintain and improve your mental health.

The steps are Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give.

Olive MacLeod, Chief Executive, PHA, said: "The PHA has been working closely with the five Health and Social Care Trusts and NI Ambulance Service and the Health and Social Care Board on this campaign.

"In the current climate it is even more important we work together with a united voice with our local communities to encourage everyone to look after their own mental and emotional wellbeing and that of others.

"We want to promote each of the Take 5 messages and the range of resources and support available. 

"We should think of these as our 'five-a-day' for wellbeing and build these into our daily lives.

"This week also sees World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September. 

"It is vitally important to remind people that if they or someone they know is experiencing a crisis, that the 24/7crisis helpline Lifeline (0808 808 8000) is available at all times.

"We hope that encouraging people to Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing will help prevent people reaching crisis point. We encourage people to recognise the signs in themselves and others and know where they can get help as early as possible."