A series of animation films have been launched in a bid to help people's mental health across the region.

The 'Look after yourself, Look out for others, and Get help early' campaign has been created by The North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network in partnership with the Every Life Matters in Cumbria charity to try and end the stigma around people talking about how they feel.

"I have worked in the region as a mental health nurse for many years and know that getting the right information and support at the right time is not always straight forward," said Katherine McGleenan, leader of the network.

"Often people either don’t know how to find support, or don’t want to ask for help, often due to the stigma.

"These short animations will encourage people to start conversations and reduce the stigma. We want everyone, whatever their circumstances, to know there is support available, and to know how to access help if needed, and that they don’t need to cope alone.”

All three animations in the series are available to view online on the North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network website and have been designed to both help and educate viewers about dealing with mental health.

News of the new campaign was welcomed by Ponteland resident Gordon Allan, who also works with the network as a lived experience influencer.

“After my wife Sally took her own life in 2015, I wanted to tackle the stigma that prevents people talking about suicide, to help save lives," added Gordon.

"The 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Study found that a fifth of adults aged over 16 in England have thought of taking their own life at some point in their lives and that 7 out of 100 people have made an attempt.

"Why do we feel so uncomfortable talking about suicide when it is affecting one in five of us? That has to change.

"I feel maybe right now with us all in a similar position, we've all been given something of a lockdown 'free pass' to talk about how we feel.

"If you want to help yourself. or others to look after their mental health, these short animations are a great place to start. Please take a few minutes to watch them.”