A SCHEME to encourage more people to think of their mental health as being just as important as their physical health has been launched across the West Midlands by Public Health England, writes Lauren Tiller.
The ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign got under way today on World Mental Health Day and offers a free NHS-approved guide.
Available online it offers expert advice, practical tips, a create-your-own action plan and others’ stories from people who discuss their own mental health issues.
Director of Health and Well-being with Public Health England West Midlands, Dr Lola Abudu, said: “It’s just as important to take action to look after your mental health, as you would your physical health.
“Our campaign helps you take your mental health into your own hands, so you can protect and improve your own mental health and that of others.”
The resource comes after research found one in four people each year in England experienced mental health problems and 70 per cent of Midlands residents reported experiencing low mood, stress, anxiety and/or trouble sleeping occasionally or frequently.
Redditch resident Roly Duke wanted to give back to the community after retiring from his stressful job as a fireman and understood the importance of looking after mental health.
He said: “It’s important that people realise things like stress and anxiety are signs that our mental well-being is suffering, and that there are things we can do to help manage these problems to prevent them getting worse.”
He started local community shed schemes in Bromsgrove and Redditch for those feeling lonely to practise their woodworking skills and meet new friends.
One regular attendee, Darren Hambridge, said: “It’s a relaxed atmosphere that helps me to focus on something positive and creative and helps me take my mind off my physical and emotional pain.
“It’s important for people to find things that help them relax, so they can cope with all the things that life throws at you sometimes. ”
Dr Carl Ellson, Strategic Clinical Lead for the three Worcestershire CCGs, said: “It’s just as important that we all look after our mental health as we do our physical health.
“Every year 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem, so it’s important to have help available to tackle these issues as early as possible and stop them from escalating.
“The comprehensive online guide can help anyone who may be struggling with things like low mood, stress or anxiety to improve their mentalhealth.”
The resource can be found online at www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters