The Redcar & Cleveland branch of leading charity Mind have today launched the ‘Talk To Us’ campaign after revealing that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a 70% increase in their referrals.

And Djed, who is sponsored by the Redcar & Cleveland Mind this season, spent some time on Thursday afternoon speaking with a handful of others via Zoom on the topic of men’s mental health.

Coronavirus has led to unprecedented challenges to our mental health, from lockdown measures affecting everyday life to the economic impact upon our region. That’s why, in the run up to World Mental Health Day on October 10, Redcar & Cleveland Mind is encouraging anyone struggling with their mental health to ‘Talk To Us’ - to get in touch and access support. Whilst the charity’s building on West Dyke Road in Redcar remains closed, the campaign seeks to remind people that their services are very much open.

Djed Spence said: “Men often find it hard to talk but do get support from their mates, especially at the football. Without regular games and opportunities to see each other, lots of men are feeling more isolated without the chance to talk to the lads at the match. Some of them are struggling to deal with challenging stuff in their lives, feeling they have no one to talk to. That’s why it’s so important for people to reach out and access the local services like Redcar & Cleveland Mind.”

Redcar & Cleveland Mind CEO Veronica Harnett said: “During the pandemic we have moved all of our support services to telephone and online provision. We are very much open to anyone needing help with their mental health and don’t want people to struggle alone. We understand it can be harder than ever to ask for help when it’s not face-to-face, but our staff are very skilled in helping people to relax and talk over the phone. We know this isn’t just a problem for men. Everyone is suffering and we’re here for you all.”

The charity’s expert team of mental health practitioners are on hand 5 days a week. Anyone can access free, confidential support by calling 01642 296052 or by email to mhp@rcmind.org. The charity’s friendly wellbeing team are at the other end of the line to help. 

Mental health practitioner Beth added: “Just a call can make all the difference. As a team we have been working hard to provide mental health support to many who have been impacted by the lockdown measures. We’re finding lots of people are coming to us due to struggles with their low mood and worries about the changes that have been made to our everyday lives. It’s really hard out there right now with all this uncertainty. Contacting us can be the first step in moving forward and improving your mental health.”