Group 28

2022-09-24 03:19:40 By : Ms. Tany Tang

Friends of Weelsby Woods and North East Lincolnshire Council approved project to paint tree blue

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Mental health campaigners have painted a tree in Weelsby Woods blue to make more people aware of mental health problems.

Friends of the late Phil Merrison have continued his work in creating greater awareness of stress and pressures on people and how to spot signs and offer early intervention. A Platform to Talk was a business set up by father-of-two, Phil Merrison, 51, who tragically took his own life in February 2020.

His friends and family are involved with a charity which has the same name, A Platform to Talk. The project to paint a tree blue came from a campaign started in Australia by a family, whose son also committed suicide.

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Lydia Gibbs, of A Platform to Talk, said approval was given by The Friends of Weelsby Woods and North East Lincolnshire Council. She told Grimsby Live: "By painting one of the trees blue in Weelsby Woods it will prompt people to ask why the tree is blue. That way, we have succeeded in making more people talk about mental health."

Phil was a top tri-athlete and promoted the benefits of exercise. He took part in Iron Man challenges and used many of the open spaces and parks in North East Lincolnshire for training.

She added: "Phil had his own business where he went into workplaces and provided courses in mental health training. We have taken it on as a charity. It is hard for people to talk about their mental health.

"We have the capacity to put people on to mental health courses. They enable people on how to look out for signs of mental health problems. We also do yoga classes which help people a lot. Just taking an hour out of the day can be a huge benefit."

Lydia thanked Crown paint on Ladysmith Road and Coastline Home Improvements for scaffolding and Brandon Hire for a ladder. Weelsby Woods is a popular beauty spot which attracts visitors who will have the chance to talk about supporting people with mental health difficulties.

She said most of the 900 trees around the world painted blue are in Australia in memory of Jayden Whyte. He took his own life in 2018 aged 29 years. At his funeral, his family remembered one of his pranks as growing up on his father's farm was to paint a tree blue.

It led to the Blue Tree Project to encourage people to look out for their loved ones. There are hundreds of trees painted blue around Australia and a few in the UK. A Platform to Talk has a Facebook page.

Anyone in distress can contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or by email.

For help on mental health issues or support for families and friends visit the charity Mind.

In North East Lincolnshire you can contact Navigo Open Minds services for help.

If you've experienced sexual or domestic violence contact The Blue Door on 0800 197 47 87 or by email.

If you are in need of immediate help, you can contact the Single Point of Access 24 hours a day.

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