The Be Aware campaign, which also aims to reduce the impact of substance and alcohol misuse, is due to go live at the Boxing Day football fixture between Carrick Rangers and Larne at the Loughshore Hotel Arena, Carrickfergus.
Delivered by Intercomm, Extern and Northern Ireland Alternatives, the project is supported by the Executive Office through the Communities in Transition programme, which is managed by Co-operation Ireland.
Jonathan Hodge, who has been helping to design and manage the campaign, said: “We have been working with different communities across Carrickfergus and Larne to help them highlight issues that are important to them. Mental health problems and substance and alcohol misuse are major issues at the moment and this campaign and follow on support have been developed to provide a response to this.”
Linsey Farrell, Executive Office, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this collaborative initiative through the Communities in Transition project to promote the importance of mental health and raise awareness of substance and alcohol misuse in Carrickfergus and Larne area.
“The project reflects the Executive Office’s commitment to ensuring the voice of communities is recognised in identifying local issues of which health and wellbeing of individuals is paramount.”
Support has come from former Northern Ireland international and Premier League defender Gareth McAuley and Radio 1 DJ and music producer DJ Fergie. The campaign will include billboards, social media videos and posters and information on how to get support from organisations such as Extern, which offers a range of mental health and well-being services in the East Antrim area through its Communities in Transition project, as well as training in schools and with community groups.
Jonathan continued, “The campaign has gained a significant amount of momentum, with everyone from local sporting figures to business people coming on board. We are also working with the likes of champion boxer Ryan Burnett and local social media personalities such as India Sasha to spread the message as widely as possible and to encourage people to seek support if they need it.”
All the publicity and information materials include a QR code and e-mail address which can direct anyone to support. The support is available to people of all ages and to anyone who is affected by substance and alcohol misuse and mental health problems, including carers.
If you would like more information on Be Aware, e-mail [email protected]
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