A SUICIDE prevention campaign has stepped up a gear to get people talking.

The Let’s Keep Talking campaign has confirmed it is launching its next phase with the UK now in Step 1 of the government’s roadmap recovery from Covid-19. As the third national Coronavirus lockdown comes to an end and people take stock of their lives, the health and care partnership believed it is time to enter its next phase. It encourages residents across South Cumbria and Lancashire to speak out if they are struggling. Now, people are being urged to talk to friends and family members, helplines and debt support services.

People who are furloughed, unemployed or coping with a drop in self-employed work are being asked to start a conversation with loved ones.

Alternatively, they can reach out to telephone counselling services to address any of their concerns. It is hoped these steps will help their mental health.

The campaign says it is more important than ever for people to reach out to local and national services for help as they battle the effects of the pandemic. Particularly, health and care workers and those who have taken an active role in supporting communities through the effects and challenges of the pandemic over the past 12 months.

Louise Thomas, ICS Suicide Prevention Programme lead, has said there will always be someone ready to talk to any resident who is currently struggling with their mental health.

She said: “I cannot overstate how important it is for people to keep talking to one another as lockdown restrictions ease. This can be a very difficult time for a lot of people, who have already had a challenging 12 months.

“As restrictions are lifted it is more important than ever for people to reach out, by talking on the phone or by video message to others, we can share the load. There is always someone to talk to, and there are many organisations out there ready to offer a listening ear.”

The ICS website - healthierlsc.co.uk/MentalHealthSupport - contains resources, information, support organisations and other websites to help support your mental health, or if you’re worried about the mental health of someone else.