New campaign hopes to help those suffering in silence - but does it go far enough?

The campaign was launched at The Grange, in Bathurst Avenue, Grange Park, this morning
The campaign was launched at The Grange, in Bathurst Avenue, Grange Park, this morning

A new poster campaign was launched today to highlight five “top tips to equip” people to help take care of their mental health.

‘Get Vocal’ is aimed at adults in Blackpool – mainly men and the middle-aged – who “can be at risk of poor mental health but would not necessarily get help”, organisers said.

The poster for the Get Vocal campaign

The poster for the Get Vocal campaign

Dr Arif Rajpura, Blackpool’s director of public health, said; “Looking after our mental health and wellbeing is important for us all, whether we are living with a mental illness or not.

“Just like our physical health there are key steps that we can all take to look after ourselves.”

The poster has the acronym VOCAL: Voice (talk to friends); observe (live in the moment); connect (give time to help others); active (get more exercise); and learn (practice a new skill).

Health bosses recently admitted Blackpool has a mental health crisis, with campaigner Stuart Clayton saying cuts to services had left people with nowhere to run.

He said the new campaign is “encouraging people to have a more positive lifestyle” but said he hopes health chiefs “are aware there are far more serious issues than this.”

He added: “This is more geared towards prevention and it’s not really dealing with the serious issues that we are facing.”

The campaign was launched by the council’s public health team to co-incide with World Mental Health Day.