Campaign to combat loneliness inspires hundreds to look out for their neighbours

L-R  Kim Leadbeater from the Jo Cox Foundation,  Ash Mahmood - South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Rebecca Bibbs, Live Well Wakefield, Angie Barker, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Phil Walters, Creative Minds.
L-R Kim Leadbeater from the Jo Cox Foundation, Ash Mahmood - South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Rebecca Bibbs, Live Well Wakefield, Angie Barker, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Phil Walters, Creative Minds.

A campaign to combat loneliness across has inspired hundreds of people across the area to take steps to look out for those around them.

The Looking Out For Our Neighbours campaign, commissioned by West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership launched in March with the aim of helping to prevent loneliness and improve the wellbeing of people in the area.

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Since then more than 30,000 “helpful neighbour packs” across have been given out, which include a range of different resources to help residents take action to look out for a neighbour in need.

Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week, people from across the county shared their stories of how the movement has inspired them and those around them to make a positive difference in their community at an event in Wakefield.

Karl Jordan is participant, turned facilitator, for Andy’s Man Club in Wakefield. He first attending joined the club in July last year after he saw a poster at Fieldhead Hospital, where he was receiving treatment and support for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. He has since praised the club for “saving his life”.

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Karl said: “Andys Man Club is a sanctuary for men to talk openly about anything that they may be struggling with.

“Since the club started in 2017 its growth has been exceptional throughout the UK, and it currently helps on average 376 men per week.

“The club helps men to offload about the weight of modern-day life from those who may be struggling with depression, alcoholism, substance abuse, anxiety, suicide and even loneliness. They understand that loneliness can be a precursor to other health and wellbeing issues; predominately mental health challenges.

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“The simplest of actions can prevent or help to reduce the risk of suicide, self-harm or mental health deterioration.

“For example, asking for your neighbours mobile number and texting them to check up on them can make a big difference.”