A CAMPAIGN to support people with mental health issues on nights out has gone viral.

Southend student nurse Leah Mercer launched the campaign and already has the support of three venues in the town with 90,000 people now following it on social media.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Backing - Coco

Braintree and Witham Times:

Support - Moo Moo

The 23-year-old, who lives in Southend and studies at Essex University, launched the scheme “Are you OK?” having worked on her own mental health issues in the past.

She has approached a number of bars and clubs in her home town asking them to display notices and have staff on hand to offer support.

She said: “I have lived with anxiety and depression for some time and realised there was no support for people who are enjoying a night out.

“I want to break the stigma about talking about living with mental health issues.

“I think having someone at bars and clubs who can direct people to the right places and services can really help so much.

“I would have felt so much safer if I had known there was someone to talk to in bars and clubs when I was out with friends.

“I had a goal of posters going up telling people it’s ok to ask for help and that staff are on hand in ten bars.

“So far Coco, Moo Moo Clubrooms and Vodka Revolution in Southend have agreed to have staff on hand and signs in their venues.”

She said the scheme allows people to who feel they are struggling with mental health issues to speak with a trained worker at a bar or club.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Campaign - Are you OK?

She said worried customers and people can be ask to be taken into a separate room to seek the help they deserve.

She has 90,000 followers on social media site Instagram with people with mental health from as far as America contacting the nurse about her campaign.

Miss Mercer said: “I did not think it would all get so big so quickly. I spotted a gap in the market and wanted to do something about it. My friends and family are so supportive about what I am doing.

“I don’t see myself as inspiration but someone who did something that needed doing.”