Over the past three years, several similar campaigns have been done across East Belfast including partnerships with local bars, bookmakers, shops and sports clubs. This project is different in that it will target people from Eastern Europe with information published in five different languages: Polish, Slovak, Lithuanian, Latvian and Czech. Leaflets in these five languages will be distributed to shops, cafes, churches and other community venues which are regularly used by people who are from Eastern Europe.
The leaflet gives the message “Your Emotional Health is Important” and lists sources of support which offer bilingual or translation services to those who do not have English as their first language.
EBCDA’s Suicide Prevention Development Officer Clare Flynn explains:
“We have done many similar projects in the past targeting different groups; for example, we have worked with Glentoran FC on several occasions to get information out to local men; and with RNIB to produce audio information for people who are blind and partially sighted. For this project we decided to target people living in East Belfast who are originally from Eastern European countries. There is evidence that people from minority backgrounds are less likely to access services if they are having emotional health issues. The reasons for this could include language barriers and a lack of awareness of the services that exist including the statutory health system.
We also took into account that when someone is emotionally distressed it can be really hard for them to express how they feel in their own language, let alone in a second language. For this reason we chose to have the information printed in Eastern European languages and to only list services which offer bilingual staff or interpreters as standard.”
Pictured is Marta Wąsik of Polita Supermarket and Café on Ravenhill Road; one of the local businesses supporting the project.
You can download information on emotional health and suicide prevention from the EBCDA website at www.ebcda.org or call 028 9045 1512 to request hard copies.