‘Talking really helps’ campaign launched

Campaign poster showing a man in his 20s with word behind him "I'm not ok" with the word "not" slightly hidden.

A new campaign from the Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging anyone with feelings of anxiety or distress, or who is in crisis, to start the conversation about their thoughts and feelings.

The ‘Talking really helps’ campaign on TV, radio, social media, outdoor, print and digital advertising, encourages anyone feeling low and struggling to cope to talk to someone they trust and not to hide their feelings.

The TV adverts show people putting on a brave face when talking to others but then reveals their true feelings when on their own and they are not fine or they can barely cope, and how through speaking to someone, they can feel better.

Fiona Teague, Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Lead at the PHA, said: “Suicide is preventable, it is not inevitable and suicide and self-harm affect all ages and walks of life. Through this new campaign, we would encourage anyone experiencing difficulty with their mental health and wellbeing to try to open up to someone. It really will help and with the right help and support, things can get better.”

The campaign also promotes Lifeline, the free 24/7 crisis helpline and encourages anyone in distress or despair to call the helpline and speak to one of Lifeline’s qualified counsellors by calling Lifeline on 0808 808 8000; Textphone 18001 0808 808 8000.

“The Lifeline service and its experienced crisis counsellors are invaluable to our communities,” Fiona continued.

“The trained counsellors at the Lifeline helpline support people experiencing thoughts of suicide, those with high levels of anxiety and those needing support with feelings of low mood and depression. The service is available day and night and is there for people through whatever crisis they are experiencing, to help get them to a better and safer place.

“People face daily challenges and with the added impact of the cost of living crisis people may be feeling the effect on their mental health and wellbeing. So, it is important to remember that help and support is available to you – don’t hide problems away. It’s also important for all of us to understand the signs that someone is having difficulty coping.

“You can also call Lifeline on behalf of someone in distress who can’t make that first call for themselves or for advice. For example, Lifeline counsellors can help a friend or family member to support the person in distress.”

When someone is having difficulty coping, often a change in behaviour is what you will notice first. Some things to look out for are:

  • They may be more irritable than normal, with the smallest thing causing them to get annoyed with themselves or others around them;
  • They may be spending more time alone and not want to go out and do the things they normally enjoy doing;
  • They may complain of feeling tired and have disturbed sleep patterns;
  • They may be skipping meals or eating more than normal;
  • You may notice that they are misusing alcohol or drugs, or taking days off work, school or college.

Remember, we are all different and not everyone will display all of these early warning signs.

For more information visit www.LifelineHelpline.info   

For more information on the campaign, which runs until March, and to see the TV adverts and other campaign materials, visit www.pha.site/TalkingReallyHelps