A COMMUNITY group is launching a campaign to promote mental health to show people where to get help in tough times.

With many facing difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to increased anxiety, depression and mental health conditions, The Boro Walkers Association says its Teesside United campaign is aimed at showing people they have somewhere to turn to.

They decided to do something after many members were affected by the suicide of Teessider Craig Stephenson, who died last year during the first lockdown.

Chairman Peter Livingstone said: “During these unprecedented times you or someone you may know will be affected by this ongoing pandemic.

“Because of this we wanted to make a positive announcement of support to everyone across the Tees Valley with a simple message: - Together as one we are strong. Together as one we are Teesside United.”

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The Boro Walkers, who have previously won awards for their tireless fundraising over the last eight years, take part in walks, challenges and events to support struggling charities in Teesside.

As part of the Teesside United campaign, they have produced an E-card with details of how people can get support if they need it.

It features the contact details for a number of mental health organisations and charities. 

The campaign is being officially launched tomorrow, via a video on Facebook, featuring some well-known faces on Teesside, including Chris Kamara and Jeff Winter.

Mr Livingstone added: “If you or anyone you know are feeling isolated, vulnerable, feeling depressed or suffering with high levels of anxiety you’re not alone, help is at hand.

“We have designed a simple E-card which has some really important contact numbers should you or someone you know be feeling down.

“The card has telephone numbers and direct web access to some fantastic services ready and waiting to help.”

Neil Stephenson, a business owner and friend of Mr Livingstone’s said: “I lost my brother Craig at the beginning of lockdown to suicide and it hit me and the family really hard.

“We knew that if there had been something like this available when Craig was experiencing some dark moments things might have been a little different”.

He added: “It’s so important to break down the stigma about talking about our experiences, feelings and emotions when things are not going well. It is essential that we get the message out to everyone that there IS help out there and things CAN change for the better.

“It’s critical that people know how to find the help they need and to not be afraid to ask for it. The E-Card is a fantastic initiative and could really help save someone’s life”.

Mr Livingstone said: “The loss of Craig struck a chord with most of the Boro Walkers members as most of them have felt his pain over the past year.

“So as a group we decided it was time to act and came up with the idea of pulling together all local support groups to form Teesside United.

“By joining forces we have worked together to design the E-card which includes important contact numbers for help and a link to a website that gives direct support.

“We urge everyone to share or pass on this video and save the card, as this could probably be the best save you could ever make.

"Once saved you immediately have the information stored to your phones gallery and this could possibly help save someone's life.”

The campaign is being backed by councils in Teesside, as well as Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.

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