Beating the January blues

The blue crew in Morpeth as part of the Time to Change campaign to highlight depression issues in the month of January.
The blue crew in Morpeth as part of the Time to Change campaign to highlight depression issues in the month of January.
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A COLOURFUL campaign’s own blue men group hit the streets of Morpeth yesterday.

As psychologists dub January as the most depressing month because post-Christmas gloom is at its worst, the Time to Change campaign’s blue crew came to the town to help make mental illness a less taboo subject.

The eye-catching figures appeared around the town centre, walking down Morpeth Bridge Street, queuing in shops and sitting on the benches within Sanderson Arcade.

Mental health advisers accompanied the blue crew, while people with real-life experience of mental illness were on hand to talk about their experiences.

They were encouraging passers-by to join thousands of others across England in making a pledge to help end mental health prejudice.

The nationwide campaign is led by mental health charities Mind and Rethink and funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief. In the North East, it is being supported by NHS North East through the New Leaf New Life programme.

Time to Change director Sue Baker said: “January is typically a month when people can suffer from stress and depression.

“It is important for people to recognise the signs of mental illness, be supportive of people around them who may be suffering and know how to respond in a non-judgemental way.

“The blue crew are a critical step in our journey to make mental health less of a stigma – to get people talking about it and learn how to help, not hinder, people’s recovery.”