Get your friends together, stick the kettle on, and turn Blue Monday into Brew Monday this year.

Today, on what's considered to be the lowest day of the year, the Zero Suicide Alliance is encouraging all to talk through their worries over a hot cuppa.

Almost 200 organisations across the country are expected to take part n the Big Brew campaign's fifth year, in the hopes of acting as a positive step towards healing for those who suffer with their mental health.

John Lawlor, Chief Executive of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) Mental Health programme, said: “We know that talking and asking for help is one of the hardest steps for those that need it for their mental health and wellbeing, and we’re delighted to be part of the ‘Brew Monday’ campaign.

“We hope that by encouraging our colleagues and partners to get involved we can play our part in helping to break down the stigma associated with mental illness.”

Organisations including NHS providers, local authorities, and the voluntary sector across the region are encouraging their staff across the North of England to get involved by hosting their own events, or even just taking time for tea with colleagues and service users.

The ZSA has also developed free online suicide prevention training, using the expertise of clinicians and the experience of those who have lived through suicide bereavement, and uses real life scenarios to provide the skills to approach those in trouble.

The training is available online at and the ICS are encouraging staff and members of the public to take twenty minutes to complete the training and learn how to save a life.

A spokesman for the ZSA added: “We’re delighted so many organisations are backing our national campaign to get the country talking over a cuppa. It’s only by talking to each other that we can really get help to those that need it and signpost them to the right services.

“For too long, mental health and suicide has been a taboo subject that was avoided in conversation, but campaigns like ‘Brew Monday’ can help bring it to the forefront so we can really address the growing suicide problem in the UK.”

Over 6,500 suicides were recorded across the UK in 2018 with every one having a major impact both emotionally and socially on friends, relatives, work colleagues, and on the local economy.

The North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network, part of the ICS, launched their Regional Multi-Agency Plan for 2019-2024 on World Suicide Prevention Day in September last year.

This plan has been developed by engaging with a wide range of local partners across the region, driven by learning from people who have been bereaved by suicide. The Network ambition is to do everything possible to reduce the number of suicides, and to reduce the impact where this does happen.