Northern Trust urges everyone to look after their mental health

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“Seeking Support when we feel low or are finding it difficult to cope is a sign of great strength” – this is the message the Northern Health and Social Care Trust would like to promote.

Whilst the stigma of mental illness is vastly reduced compared to 10 or indeed 5 years ago, there are still many people who are struggling with issues related to mental and emotional wellbeing, but who aren’t seeking support – and that is something the Northern Trust along with its many partner organisations in the voluntary and community sector would like to change.

The Northern Trust have dedicated teams including adult mental health, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), addictions services and crisis response teams who work to ensure those with mental health difficulties receive tailored and timely intervention. New pilot schemes such as the Emotional Wellbeing Hubs work in partnership with GPs and voluntary & Community organisations to provide a range of therapeutic services, whilst the Recovery College aims to support people with experience of mental health issues become leaders in their own recovery.

Northern Trust Senior Health Promotion Officer, Geraldine McDonnell said: “The Northern Trust would encourage anyone who feels they need support to talk to friends or family members, or to seek help from their GP or the support services listed. It doesn’t matter how old you are or where you live, if you or someone you know is in distress or despair, there are many sources of support within your own community to help you.

“The Northern Trust values the range of services such as Lifeline, Rural Support, ZEST, AWARE and others who are working hard, along with us, to help those who are finding life difficult at the minute. No matter what the situation is, and no matter how low or desperate a person feels - there is a support that can help.”

An example of the support available is Lifeline, Northern Ireland’s confidential crisis helpline which supports individuals and families suffering despair. Lifeline counsellors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to listen and give confidential help, contact them on 0808 808 8000.

A range of information and other support services is also available:

The Northern Trust website gives mental health advice and details of support services www.northerntrust.hscni.net

Minding Your Head website includes information on mental health support services www.mindingyourhead.info

Samaritans helpline provides a listening ear for those in distress. Tel: 116 123

Rural Support provides practical help and emotional support for farmers and other rural dwellers Tel: 0845 606 7607

Debt Action NI can provide help and support for anyone with financial difficulties. Tel: 0800 917 4607 or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau

Aware Defeat Depression offers a range of support services for those with depression. Tel: 0845 120 2961

CRUSE Bereavement Support is available for adults and children after a bereavement. Tel: 028 27666686

Domestic Violence Helpline is there for anyone affected by domestic abuse - men and women. Tel: 8 0808 802 1414

Bereaved by Suicide Support Service offers individual counselling,group support and signposting to Barnardos Child Suicide Bereavement Service Tel : 028 94413544