NHS Trust launches winter wellbeing campaign to address loneliness and distress in the North East this Christmas

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust is launching a winter campaign to raise awareness of loneliness, stress and anxiety. The Trust is aiming to reach young men who might not otherwise be aware of where they can go for help.

NTW wants to spread the word to everyone that no matter how negative a situation may seem, help is at hand. The Trust is sending information leaflets and posters to locations across the North East, including GP surgeries, libraries, universities, job centres and sports clubs.

The campaign also includes a series of posters and drip mats which are being distributed to pubs and bars across Newcastle and Sunderland. Venues featuring the materials include The Telegraph, Harry’s Bar, The Centurion, Head of Steam and Trillions in Newcastle, and The Cooper Rose, P’s & Q’s and Revolution in Sunderland.

Other locations displaying information on loneliness include voluntary sector organisations such as Newcastle’s Recovery College Collective (Recoco) and both Newcastle and Gateshead Councils. The Trust is also sending information out internally to its staff of over 6,000 individuals.

In the UK men remain three times more likely to take their own lives than women, and in 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The North East is the region with the highest suicide rate in the UK.

Karen O’Rourke, NTW’s Patient Information Manager said: “Christmas and New Year can be one of the most fun times of year but for many this can also be a lonely, stressful or worrying time. We want to send the message that people don’t have to feel like this, and that we hope that our publicity campaign will make it easier for people to seek out the help and support which is available.”

Organisations in the North East who are interested in taking part in the campaign can email pic@ntw.nhs.uk to request a free Winter Wellness campaign pack which includes leaflets, posters and contact cards.

NTW also has a range of self-help guides that are available online in a range of formats, including British Sign Language. The guides are available online at www.ntw.nhs.uk/selfhelp, or can be requested in a range of printed formats by calling the Patient Information Centre on 0191 246 7288 or emailing pic@ntw.nhs.uk.

People in the North East who are in distress and need help can get in touch with NTW’s Initial Response services which are open for anyone to call, 24 hours a day.

People living in Gateshead, South Tyneside or Sunderland can call 0303 123 1145.

People in Newcastle, North Tyneside or Northumberland can call 0303 123 1146.

If you or another person have been harmed or are at immediate risk you may require an emergency response – call 999.