Kent residents are being reminded of local support services this World Mental Health Day (10 October) including the ‘Every Mind Matters’ Mind Plan with practical tips to help you deal with stress and anxiety, boost your mood, sleep better and feel more in control.
New research from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) part of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) shows that the past 18 months negatively impacted the mental wellbeing of half of all adults in England (49%). And of those who struggled, a massive one in three (34%) did not know what to do to improve their mental wellbeing.
Since lockdown lifted, people may have been feeling worried about going ‘back to normal’ or finding the change difficult. Every Mind Matters has practical tips and expert advice to help you feel more in control. By answering five quick questions at www.kent.gov.uk/everymindmatters you’ll get a personalised action plan with practical tips to help you deal with stress and anxiety, boost your mood, sleep better and feel more in control.
This is complemented by the COVID-19 content hub, which includes tips and support on coping with money worries, job uncertainty and how to ease back into socialising at your own pace. The platform also includes practical tips on dealing with stress and anxiety, boosting your mood, sleeping better and what you can do to help others.
KCC Public Health Consultant for Mental Health, Jess Mookherjee said: “Covid-19 has impacted us all in different ways. As the situation changes you might feel nervous about the future or frustrated by the way your life has changed. Everyone feels different sometimes. It’s important to remember it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently – for most of us, these difficult feelings will pass.”
She adds: “For help to manage worries, sleep better and boost your mood take the Mind Plan Quiz and get your free mental health action plan. There is also has a range of dedicated support and resources to help parents look after the mental wellbeing of their children and for young people to care for their own mental health.”
Dr Jihad Malasi, NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group’s GP Clinical Lead for Mental Health, said: “If you are feeling anxious, stressed, low or having problems with sleeping, please don’t delay in seeking help.
“Every Mind Matters and the Mind Plan are great places to start. There’s also a wealth of information about services and support available to people in Kent and Medway on our online Mental Wellbeing Information Hub found at www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/mental-wellbeing-information-hub.”
Live Well Kent & Medway works with communities across Kent, helping people to address the difficulties that are impacting on their mental health so they can stay well and manage their own lives.
“Covid-19 has increased the emotional and financial pressure for people who were already struggling before the pandemic,” said Julia Hargreaves, head of mental health services at Porchlight – one of the organisations which runs Live Well Kent. “Our service is seeing more people who are facing serious problems with their mental health because of worries over job losses, money, housing, heating and food. You might have questions about benefits or housing, finding education or work opportunities, or be looking for support around mental illness.
“Maybe you’re feeling lonely or isolated and you’d like help meeting other people. Whatever it is, please don’t wait for problems to build up, get in touch and find out how we can help.”
People are also reminded of the help available in Kent including an easy to use mental health text service. As part of the ‘Release the Pressure’ campaign, texts are free on all major mobile networks – by texting the word “Kent” to 85258, you will start a conversation with a trained and experienced volunteer who can give support at any time, wherever you are. You can also find out more about ‘Release the Pressure’ text service, freephone helpline and other community mental health support services at www.kent.gov.uk/everymindmatters