Every Mind Matters

Kent is supporting the national ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign this World Mental Health Day (10 October) by reminding residents of the support services available across the county.

Launched by Public Health England, ‘Every Mind Matters’ is the first national NHS mental health campaign encouraging adults to be more aware of their mental health and helps them to discover simple steps to look after their mental health and wellbeing.

It offers a range of useful resources that help spot the signs of common mental health concerns, provides practical self-care tips and guidance and, importantly, explains when to seek further support.

There is also a free NHS-approved online tool which helps people build an action plan to deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood, improve their sleep and help them feel more in control. The tool and information of Kent support services can be found at www.kent.gov.uk/everymindmatters

KCC’s Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark said: “The ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign is starting a national conversation which we will be supporting with partners in Kent. By encouraging people across the county to join that conversation, we want to support our residents to feel more confident in taking action to take care of their mental health and wellbeing. There is no single solution to this but by promoting a range of self-care actions to promote good mental health and tackle common problems, as well as signposting to the wider resources and services for those in greater need which are available in Kent, we hope the conversation will go far and wide.”

One of the support services commissioned by KCC is Live Well Kent which provides a free, person centred, holistic service that supports people to manage issues in life that impact on their mental health and wellbeing. It is open to any Kent residents aged 17 or older. Shaw Trust is the strategic partner providing the service in the West Kent, with Porchlight providing the service in east Kent. The service is funded by joint commissioners Kent County Council and the seven clinical commissioning groups for Kent (but not Medway).

Live Well Kent works in partnership with clinical services providing an alternative which is focussed on wellbeing, connectivity, prevention and recovery. It is based on open referrals – anyone can access help when they need it – for more details, go to www.livewellkent.org.uk or call 0800 567 7699.

Meanwhile, the theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is suicide prevention and Kent residents needing help are also urged to contact the Release the Pressure Freephone helpline – 0800 107 0160 – where support is available from trained and experienced staff 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The campaign website www.releasethepressure.uk also includes case studies from men in Kent who have turned their lives around after attempting suicide.

For more information on all the support services available in Kent and to access the ‘Every Mind Matters’ online tool, go to www.kent.gov.uk/everymindmatters

For young people, there is a new web resource attached to the Kent Resilience Hub available at www.kentresiliencehub.org.uk offering information on promoting and protecting good emotional health. This includes videos and tools, as well as activities and service information. The site is called Moodspark www.moodspark.org.uk and has been developed with young people in Kent, including a young people’s editorial board.

There is also a resilience toolkit to help schools and organisations consider how they can promote emotional wellbeing within everything they do. These resources have been developed by HeadStart Kent, part of Children, Young People and Education Services. HeadStart aims to help young people cope better when faced with difficult circumstances in their lives, preventing them from experiencing common mental health problems.