Don’t Brush it Under the Carpet

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Don’t Brush It Under the Carpet- new campaign launched to raise awareness of the  issue of self-harm in older people 

Today, (Tuesday 1st March) Greater Manchester has launched a new campaign to improve  mental wellbeing and raise awareness of self-harm in older people. 

Recent research shows that older people who self-harm are at 67 times greater risk of  suicide than the general older population and almost three times greater than the relative  risk of suicide among younger people who self-harm. 

The new campaign ‘Don’t Brush It Under the Carpet’, which was launched at the Greater  Manchester Ambition for Ageing celebration event, aims to reach and support older  residents who may be feeling depressed and alone and guide them to the right support for  them. The campaign also aims to raise awareness of the issue of self-harm and older  people, amongst carers, family members and health professionals to enable them to support  residents who may be struggling. 

The campaign, which has been funded by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care  Partnership and builds on their existing Shining A Light on Suicide Campaign, has been  created by a working group made up of representatives from the Shining a Light on Suicide  Campaign, Greater Manchester Older People’s Network, Greater Manchester Ageing Hub,  health professionals and a focus group of older residents. 

This campaign’s concept is themed around common phrases and sayings that residents  would be familiar with and relate to including don’t brush it under the carpet and a problem  shared is a problem halved. 

Polly Kaiser, Consultant Clinical Psychologist Oldham and Clinical Lead Older  Peoples’ psychological therapies, Pennine Care said:

“These shocking statistics debunk  any myths that self-harm is an issue only for young people. We know that recovery statistics  are positive for older people. Poor mental wellbeing is not an inevitable part of ageing and  this campaign is integral in raising societal awareness of this and encouraging older people  to seek help and not ‘brush it under the carpet’.” 

Gillian Stainthorpe, Greater Manchester Older Peoples Network Steering Group  Member said:

This new campaign is really important because it is helping to break the  taboo around older people’s mental wellbeing and encouraging them to seek support. The  campaign’s strength has been the involvement of older people working on equal terms with  professionals from the very beginning. Their voices have been crucial in shaping the  direction of the campaign and raising awareness of self-harm and older people.” 

Accessing support 

Talk to someone 

Tell a friend, family member or someone you trust how you are feeling. 

Speak to your GP 

Your GP can arrange for you to receive support from the right services. If you need  support out of hours call NHS 111 

Text Shout 

If you prefer to talk to someone over text message, Shout offer confidential support  24/7. Text: SHOUT to 85258 

Join an online community

Join Mind’s online community Side by Side, it’s an online space where you can listen,  share and be heard. Visit 

Call the Samaritans on 116 123 

Whatever you are going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. They are there 24  hours a day, 365 days a year. 

You can find out more about the campaign and the support available to residents on the  campaign webpage: Older People | Shining a Light on Suicide 

If you would like to help support in promoting this campaign, please get in touch by emailing  [email protected] to receive a Campaign Toolkit. 

Suicide affects us all. Encourage someone to talk before suicide seems their only option.  Together we can help prevent suicide. Find out how at 

If you’re struggling to cope call Samaritans on 116 123 or text Shout on 85258. 

If you are struggling with a bereavement, you do not need to deal with your grief alone.  Greater Manchester Bereavement Service can find the right support for you. 


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