‘Positive Mental Health Boxes’ filled with sweets, mindfulness activities, stress balls and more, are helping make a difference to some of the most vulnerable young people across Antrim and Newtownabbey.
These boxes have been distributed to those aged between 14 and 25 across the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council area.
The initiative was funded by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, the Antrim and Newtownabbey Loneliness Network and CYPSP and is part of a campaign to break the stigma attached to loneliness and encourage people to speak openly about how they are feeling.
Antrim and Newtownabbey Loneliness Network was established in June 2019 and brings together the Council and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, alongside others in the statutory, voluntary and community sectors, to raise awareness of loneliness, share best practice and learning on ways to prevent and address loneliness, and encourage championing of tackling loneliness across the Borough.
Valerie Adams, Chairperson of the Antrim and Newtownabbey Loneliness Network, said:
“As Chair of the Antrim and Newtownabbey Loneliness Network it is excellent to see the distribution of the positive mental health boxes to young people across the Borough. This collaborative approach highlights what can be achieved by working together and it is vital that we continue to work in this way in order to address the issue of isolation and loneliness across Antrim and Newtownabbey”.
Hugh Nelson from the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, added:
“Loneliness can affect anyone from teenagers and young adults, new parents, carers and recently bereaved, to students, older people and those with disabilities. During Covid-19 the restrictions have exacerbated this issue for everyone, not least our young people and older people. Through these packs we are reaching out to our community during this difficult time to reassure them they are not alone and we are in this together”.
Ronan McKenna, Community Planning Manager for Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council added:
“Through Our Borough Community Plan, a key priority is to support the ‘People’ of the Borough live a positive life. The Council will continue to lead and collaborate with lead agencies to support initiatives like this ensuring access to and signposting of resources that will promote positive mental wellbeing. We are delighted that this initiative has provided resources and support for grassroots community & voluntary organisations to highlight the importance of positive wellbeing for young people”.