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Good mental health is just as important as good physical health


The Health and Social Care Board is highlighting the importance of good mental health with the launch of a new radio advert as part of the ‘Choose Well’ campaign.

The Choose Well campaign aims to help people gain a better understanding of the range of services available from self-care to 999 and this year the campaign has included mental health. The new advert is to highlight the importance of looking after your mental health as well as looking after your physical health.

Almost one in five people in Northern Ireland at any one time show signs of a possible mental health problem, yet very few of us are willing to talk about the subject openly. Mental health problems are conditions identified by changes in thinking, mood or behaviour. But good mental health is more than simply the absence of problems.

Aidan Murray, Assistant Director of Social Care and Children, Health and Social Care Board, said:

“We have included information on mental health as part of the Choose Well campaign this year as we felt it was really important that people are aware of the full range of services, including mental health services, and how best to use them. We are very grateful to the Mental Health Rights Campaign and Participation and Practice of Rights for all of their feedback and support in ensuring information is tailored to the needs of those experiencing mental health difficulties or their families.

“If you are worried about your mental health, it is important to talk about your concerns. Talking to someone you trust such as a friend or relative may help however, there are also health care services from your GP. If you feel you need urgent help outside of GP hours, you can contact your GP Out of Hours service; or go to your nearest Emergency Department.”

For people in distress or despair, call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and information is available at www.lifelinehelpline.info. A free smartphone and tablet app ‘here2help’ is also available at www.here2helpapp.com

Grace Cassidy, Mental Health Rights Campaign member explains:

“Our own research has told us that 9 out of 10 people did not have enough information on where to go to get help for their mental health. I know from my own experience with my son how important it is to have the right information at the right time. Including mental health in the Choose Well campaign will help ensure people know where to go to get help and could make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Further information about mental health and where to get support can be found on the Choose Well website – www.nidirect.gov.uk/choosewell

The Choose Well radio advert can be listened to at: http://ow.ly/HLJEl