Tragedies prompt launch of Mental Health campaign in borough

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim helped to launch the #Here2Help roadshow. (L-R) Inspector Marc Riddell, C/Inspector William Calderwood, PJ McAvoy (Chair of Ballymena North), Mayor Maureen Morrow, Jackie Patton (MEA) and Inspector Rory Bradley.
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim helped to launch the #Here2Help roadshow. (L-R) Inspector Marc Riddell, C/Inspector William Calderwood, PJ McAvoy (Chair of Ballymena North), Mayor Maureen Morrow, Jackie Patton (MEA) and Inspector Rory Bradley.

A Roadshow highlighting the services available for those who suffer from mental health and wellbeing issues is coming to Ballymena following a spate of tragedies in the borough.

The #Here2Help roadshow will take place on Wednesday, February 12, at 10am in Ballymena North Business and Recreation Centre on the town’s Cushendall Road.

A smartphone app is also set to be launched as part of a major new mental health and well-being campaign in the borough.

Mid and East Antrim Council alongside their Community Planning partners agreed to support any initiative that would help raise awareness of these issues which have had a devastating impact on families and our communities as a whole.

The local authority has teamed up with the PSNI, PHA and local community groups in an attempt to highlight the range of services available within M&EA to those who suffer from mental health and wellbeing issues including the misuse of drugs and alcohol.

PSNI Vulnerability Inspector C/Inspector William Calderwood, said: “Recent figures released by NISRA on the number of deaths within this Borough as a result of Mental Health issues and Drugs and Alcohol are staggering and we as a Police Service want to demonstrate that we are here to support the most vulnerable in our community.”

The roadshow, which is free to attend and open to everyone, will also see the launch in the borough of the #Here2Help Smartphone App which has been developed so local residents can quickly access contact details for range of support services available to them within the borough.

The Roadshow will be open to all with pupils from across all eight Ballymena Learning Together schools invited alongside key decision makers, elected members, and local community groups.

Speakers at the event will include those directly affected by Mental Health, Wellbeing and Drug and Alcohol issues in their families.

The event will also hear from those who found a way to turn their life around using the Support Services available on the Here2Help app.

Mayor Councillor Maureen Morrow, said: “We are listening and want to help in whatever way possible those who are affected by issues such and Mental Health and Wellbeing and the very real dangers of Drug and Alcohol Misuse.

“As part of this campaign we want to highlight the vast amount of support available to our communities and by supporting the HERE2HELP app we hope that that we make the information on support services even more accessible to anyone who needs advice or support.”

To register to attend or have the Roadshow visit a school or Community Group, email lisa.thompson@midandeastantrim.gov.uk or call 02828262367.