NOT ALONE: Mental health advocates back campaign with passionate videos

Not Alone contributors, clockwise from top left: Norman Lamb, Tina James, Cedric Anselin, Stephen Cr

Not Alone contributors, clockwise from top left: Norman Lamb, Tina James, Cedric Anselin, Stephen Crocker, Shane Lutkin, Jon Norman, Ben Langley and Charlie Hodson. - Credit: Submitted

A host of passionate mental health campaigners and advocates have already given their support to our new Not Alone campaign.

Here is some of the advice offered up by our contributors so far, as they find their way through the coronavirus lockdown. If you’d like to record a video message of hope please send them to

Sir Norman Lamb, former North Norfolk MP and health minister

“Thanks to the EDP for this brilliant initiative. Three quick thoughts. First of all, I’m trying really hard to get to bed on time because I know that getting enough sleep is good for your mental health and your well-being.

“Secondly, exercise. I’m doing a minute of running on the spot, a minute of star-jumps and then a minute of sitting down and standing up as many times as possible.

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“Thirdly, do something creative. I’ve drawn my first portrait in years, it’s pretty rubbish but something creative is good for your well-being!”

Shane Lutkin, Norwich-based psychotherapist at EmotionalSkills

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“I listen to people for a living and if they say ‘okay’ it might be an idea to say ‘you can rally open up to me if you want, confidentially, and I will listen’. If they do start to open up then really do listen deeply, change your body shape slightly, make eye-to-eye contact.

“Really focus on what they’re saying, what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling. Put aside what you are thinking and really focus on them. Just listen, don’t interrupt, don’t give advice, just listen.”

Ben Langley - Comedian and Norwich Theatre Royal panto star

“I want to contribute towards good feeling and positivity at this time, so please remember to stay positive as much as you can, this isn’t going to last forever.

“Follow the government guidelines and just remember we are all in this together.

“We’re all in the same boat, which in a way is quite comforting, I feel.”

Charlie Hodson - chef at the Crown Inn in Northwold

“Text your mate, call your mate, Skype your mate, Instagram your mate, tweet your mate - one thing you mustn’t do, please don’t visit your mate!

“We can beat Covid-19 together but also at the same time, watch out for each other, look out for each other and keep each other safe.”

- You can watch all of our video contributions above and contribute your own by tagging @EDP24 or @eveningnews on Twitter and using the #NotAlone hashtag.


Advice to help safeguard wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic is being offered through interactive webinars by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

The webinars are intended to reassure people they are not alone while social distancing, in isolation or unable to go to work. They will feature hints and tips to help people stay healthy and manage any worries they may be experiencing, while those taking part will also be able to ask questions anonymously.

Each workshop will be presented by a clinician using a webcam and attendees joining the webinar will not be seen by the other participants.

Two sessions have been arranged so far, between 10am and midday on Tuesday to focus on improving sleep and between 1pm and 3pm on Thursday to focus on everyday wellbeing with coronavirus support.


Mind - or 0300 123 3393

NHS Wellbeing - or 0300 123 1503

Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust -

Samaritans - 116 123

If you need an emergency service dial 999

- Our Here to Help campaign is also organising a Not Alone pen friend scheme for those keen to make new friends during isolation. Those interested in being involved can contact

- Click here to subscribe to our daily coronavirus newsletter, with all the latest from where you live

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