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New mental health campaign launched across East Midlands

Public Health England (PHE), in partnership with the NHS, today launches Every Mind Matters to help people take simple steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing and support others.

It is increasingly recognised that taking care of our mental health is as important as maintaining good physical health.

A new PHE survey reveals 84% of people in the East Midlands have experienced early signs of poor mental health including feeling anxious, stressed, having low mood or trouble sleeping in the last 12 months.

 While these can be a natural response to life’s challenges, they can become more serious if people don’t take action – and many wait too long.

26% of people in the region who experienced signs of poor mental health waited at least 6 months before taking steps to manage their mental health, with 70% of those in the East Midlands who waited this long wishing they had acted sooner.

Every Mind Matters shows people the simple steps they can take to be better prepared for life’s ups and downs.

The new platform, which has been endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RGCP), will enable people to create a personalised action plan recommending a set of self-care actions to deal with stress, boost mood, improve sleep and feel in control.

A special film to promote Every Mind Matters has been written by Richard Curtis and directed by Rankin, narrated by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

It shows how we can all look after our mental health and will be aired simultaneously at around 8:45pm tonight simultaneously across ITV, Channel 4 and Sky channels.

The powerful film features a range of people whose lives have been affected by poor mental health, including a cast of well-known faces: Gillian Anderson, Glenn Close, Freddie Flintoff, Professor Green, Davina McCall, Jordan Stephens, Will Young, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Nadiya Hussain, Rob Beckett, Katie Piper, Joe Sugg and Alastair Campbell.

The launch follows eighteen months of planning and local and regional piloting (in the Midlands), developed with clinical and academic experts, national mental health charities and input from people with experience of poor mental health.

Clinically-assured by the NHS, Every Mind Matters is evidence-based and it shows people how to build simple changes into their daily lives – such as reframing unhelpful thoughts, breathing exercises and increasing physical activity.

All of these have well-evidenced impact on improving and maintaining good mental health, which can help people to feel and function better, have more positive relationships, manage difficult times and get more out of life – now and in the future.

The insights from a pilot which ran in the Midlands in October 2018 showed that as a result of the strong campaigning work in this area attitudes to mental health have shifted significantly, with people increasingly agreeing that it’s important to look after your mental health.

The testing showed that the key need from the public was that they do not feel confident to take action on their own mental health, needing accessible, practical advice on what steps they can take to look after their mental health.

As a result of the regional pilot, there has been the introduction of ‘Your Mind Plan’ a new, interactive tool which will enable people to generate a free online plan to improve their mental health. By answering 5 key questions, people will be given a tailored set of self-care actions based on their situation, to help them deal with stress, boost their mood, improve their sleep and feel more in control.

  All of these actions have well-evidenced benefits for improving and maintaining good mental health, which can help people to get more out of life, feel better, have more positive relationships and manage difficult times – now and in the future.

Every Mind Matters is backed by a coalition of mental health charities and champions, including Mind, Mental Health First Aid England, Time to Change, Heads Together and the Samaritans.

This new resource is available for the public and for GPs to advise their patients to use.  The NHS will also promote Every Mind Matters to its one-million plus workforce.

Some of the nation’s biggest companies from the high street, entertainment, sport and finance have pledged to adopt Every Mind Matters for their employees, customers and fans. These include Nationwide, Greggs and the England and Wales Cricket Board, who will be empowering their staff and the public to take their mental health into their own hands and encouraging them to create their own action plan.

Matthew Day, Consultant in Healthcare Public Health at PHE East Midlands, said:

“Our Midlands pilot highlighted how far we have come in changing the conversation around our own and our loved one’s mental health to one that is open, honest and caring. It also showed that the public now want to turn that conversation into practical, individual-level actions to help manage and improve our mental health and wellbeing, as we would do for our physical health and wellbeing.

“With the pressures of modern life, it’s normal to feel stressed, anxious, low or have trouble sleeping some of the time. But when these become overwhelming or frequent they can manifest into a more serious problem.

“Every Mind Matters provides online resources to help you take your mental health into your own hands, so you can protect and improve your own mental health, and that of others, at the earliest opportunity possible.”

Kornelia, from Alfreton in Derbyshire, who experienced low mood, anxiety and trouble sleeping after leaving an abusive relationship says:

“Life can be tough and sometimes it can feel like the cloud will never lift, I know, I’ve been there. My experience has taught me that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all fix it solution, for me, it was a combination of talking more to my friends and family about my feelings, of exercising more and of adopting a positive attitude which helped, for other people it could well be an entirely different set of techniques. Every Mind Matters takes this into account and offers simple steps we can all take to feel more in control and what’s more, there’s even an option to receive a free personalised action plan to improve your mental health.” 

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said:

“We all have mental health just as we all have physical health, and it can vary from good to poor. Most people know how important it is to look after their physical health and more and more people are understanding the need to look after their mental health as well, but lots of us don’t know where to start.

“That’s why Mind has been helping develop Every Mind Matters, to empower people with the tools they need to deal with everyday causes of stress, anxiety, low mood and trouble sleeping. Taking proactive steps like increasing physical activity and connecting with others can help prevent these issues developing into more serious mental health problems further down the line.

!At a time when only a third of people with a mental health problem get access to any kind of help and support, it’s important to do whatever we can to help people take steps to stay well and try and prevent mental health problems developing in the first place.

“We hope that this campaign will help increase public awareness of how we can all stay as mentally well as possible.”

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