New online platform promotes mental health self-careRuth Mabhiza
New online platform promotes mental health self-care
A new online platform encouraging people to take care of their mental health has been launched.
NHS England, Public Health England and leading mental health charities have teamed up to deliver Every Mind Matters, which offers advice on a range of mental health conditions including anxiety, depression and stress.
The platform offers expert advice and practical tips as well as a quiz which provides a free personalised action plan recommending a set of self-care actions to deal with stress, boost mood, improve sleep and feel in control.
Users are asked a series of questions on how often they feel down, stressed, have bad days and struggle to sleep before being offered a series of tips on how to manage their mental wellbeing. The plan can then be emailed to them.
Verified apps for addiction, stop smoking services, mental health management, sleep, exercise and healthier lifestyles are also listed on the platform, helping using navigate the deluge of health apps available.
The platform is backed by a number of celebrities who have been affected by poor mental health, as well at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “We’re all aware of the benefits of looking after our physical health and the steps we can take to keep ourselves healthy, but many of us are not as knowledgeable or proactive as we could be when it comes to our mental health.
“Every Mind Matters will benefit us all with an accessible tool to help manage our wellbeing at the click of a button. It will offer vital support to those living with a mental health condition and give each of us valuable and personalised tips on how to better cope with life’s daily struggles, while contributing to tackling the stigma that can still surround mental health.”
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens added: “At the same time the NHS is expanding the availability of specialist mental health support and treatment, people are increasingly interested in practical steps they can take themselves to prevent and manage common mental health problems such as anxiety, stress and depression.
“That’s where Every Mind Matters comes in, as a helpful complement to the work of NHS mental health teams and services.”
Public Health England research found more than eight in ten people have experienced early signs of poor mental health including feeling anxious, stressed, having low mood or trouble sleeping in the last 12 months.
While more than a quarter of people who experienced poor mental health waited at least six months before taking action, with three quarters of those who waited wishing they had done something sooner.
The 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.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind, said: “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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