Get out and get active

THE days may be on the turn now that the summer solstice has passed, but there’s still plenty of time to make use of the summer months to get out and get active, even if it is raining. That is the message from the Public Health Agency (PHA), which says that getting out and about and spending time with family and friends can help your mood.

Madeline Heaney, Regional Lead for Mental Health Promotion, PHA, explained: “We haven’t had much of a summer so far with all the rain, so it is hard to believe that the days are already starting to get shorter. However, there are still several months to take advantage of the warmer weather by getting out and trying different things. This can really help improve your emotional wellbeing.

“Keeping in touch with friends and family is important. Consider joining groups or developing new interests, many of which can be free of charge, such as local library book clubs, walking groups or volunteering opportunities.

“Regardless of the time of year though, there are simple ways you can protect your mental wellbeing that could make all the difference.”

These include:

• Don’t be afraid to give and accept support - being available for others if they need support should encourage them to be there for you too.

• Make time for family and friends.

• Knowing who you are - think about and try to do what makes you really happy, and learn to balance what you can and cannot change about yourself.

More information about looking after your mental health and the support available across Northern Ireland can be found online at

You can also ring Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. This is a confidential service, where trained counsellors will listen and help immediately on the phone and follow-up with other support if necessary. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Lifeline website is