7 October 2019

The following information is from Shropshire Council in partnership with Public Health England

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 83% people in West Midlands region 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 people wait too long.

In the West Midlands, 24% of people in the region who experienced signs of poor mental health waited at least six months before taking steps to manage their mental health, with 74% of those in West Midlands region 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 (Monday 7 October 2019) 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 18 months of planning and local and regional piloting, 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.

Insights from last year’s pilot in the West Midlands and East Midlands showed attitudes to mental health have shifted significantly, with people increasingly agreeing it’s important to look after your mental health. Testing showed people don’t 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 wellbeing. As a result of the Midlands pilot, a new interactive tool, ‘Your Mind Plan’ will enable people to generate a free online plan to improve their mental health. By answering five key questions, they get 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 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.

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 staff, 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.

Paul Sanderson, PHE West Midlands mental health lead, said: “Eight out of 10 people in the West Midlands have experienced the early signs of poor mental health in the last 12 months – so someone within your family, friends or workplace will likely be experiencing poor mental health right now. Feeling anxious, stressed, having low moods or trouble sleeping can be a natural response to life’s challenges, but if people don’t take action, things can escalate and become much more serious.

“The Every Mind Matters online resource encourages people to take simple early steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing, and support others who may be experiencing difficulties. There’s a quick questionnaire and the results will give people hints and tips so they can put together a personal action plan to improve their daily lives – such as increasing physical activity, learning new skills, doing something creative. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and there are always things we can do to look after our minds, in the same way we look after our bodies.”

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.”

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, added: “Good mental health is so important as it affects all aspects of a person’s life including their physical health, their social connections, education, personal relations and employment opportunities to name a few. As a rural county we have challenges around isolation which can have a significant impact on an individual’s wellbeing.

“In Shropshire, we want mental health to be openly discussed and supported, and are committed to ensuring that residents have access to opportunities that really help promote good mental wellbeing. We are therefore really excited to support Every Mind Matters, which encourages people to be more aware of their mental health and help them discover simple steps to look after their mental health and wellbeing.”

To discover simple steps for a healthier mind, create your bespoke action plan at www.everymindmatters.co.uk

Shropshire Council has set up a dedicated page for the campaign which links people to local activities which can support their mental wellbeing. For more information visit www.shropshire.gov.uk/shropshire-choices/every-mind-matters