"Talk your way through lockdown - you might save a life" says local man who faced mental health crisis

With fears our mental health will continue to suffer as we all retreat into a winter lockdown, one local man says staying in touch with friends and relatives could save a life.

Kevin Knox saw his mental health deteriorate during the first lockdown in 2020, leading to extended periods of self-harming and an attempt to take his own life.

As he rebuilds and looks to the future, he asked us to share his story in the hope that others will see they aren't alone.

The NHS has reassured public that mental health and learning disability services across North Cumbria and the North East are still available, even under the toughest of restrictions.

John Lawlor OBE, Chief Executive at CNTW, said: “We know that many people are understandably worried about catching or spreading the virus. People are also worried about being a ‘burden’ when the NHS system is under pressure. But the NHS is here to support your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as your physical health."

Help is available:

If things are feeling really difficult for you, don't struggle alone.

NHS help is available, whether that’s face-to-face, over the phone or online – seek help if you need it.

Who to contact if you or someone you know needs help:

National helplines

  • Samaritans116 123

    24-hour helpline offering emotional support for anyone feeling down, distressed or struggling to cope.

  • SHOUT Text Shout to 85258

    Crisis text service for support with any mental health concern, 24/7

  • CALM Campaign Against Living Miserably 0800 58 58 58

    Helpline for people struggling with mental health, 5pm – Midnight

  • Silverline 0800 470 80 90

    Information, friendship and advice for older people, 24/7

  • Papyrus Hopeline 0800 068 4141 

    Young suicide prevention society, 9am-10pm Mon-Fri. 2-10pm Weekends

  • The Mix 0808 808 4994

    Advice and support for under 25s, 4-11pm

  • Alcoholics Anonymous 0800 917 7650

    A helpline for anyone struggling with their relationship with alcohol, 24/7

  • Narcotics Anonymous 0300 999 1212

    Help and support for anyone struggling with drug abuse, 10am - midnight

  • NHS 24, 111

    Provides access to health advice and information, 24/7

  • Childline, 0800 1111

    A free, private and confidential service for anyone under 19 in the UK, 24/7

Southern Scotland

  • Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87

    A free and confidential phone line for anybody experiencing low mood or depression.

    Weekdays: Monday-Thursday 6pm to 2amWeekend: Friday 6pm-Monday 6am 

  • Support in Mind 0300 3231545

    Support for people living with mental health problems, Monday to Friday from 9am-3.30pm

NHS help is available, whether that’s face-to-face, over the phone or online – seek help if you need it. Credit: PA