07 Oct 2019
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 81% people in the South East 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 wait too long.
29% of people in the region who experienced signs of poor mental health waited at least 6 months before taking steps to manage their mental health, with 75% of those in the South East 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 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 eighteen 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.
All of these 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 employees, 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.
Angela Baker, deputy director for health and wellbeing at PHE South East said:
“It’s really important to look after our mental health just as we look after our physical health. We’re aware of steps we can take to look after our physical health but many of us are not as knowledgeable or proactive as we could be when it comes to our mental health. So, every Mind Matters gives us all some simple tools to help manage our wellbeing.
“It’s important to be honest with ourselves and remember that Anxiety, stress, low mood and trouble sleeping can affect everyone. Every Mind Matters aims to help people to better handle life’s ups and downs.”
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.”
To discover simple steps for a healthier mind, create your bespoke action plan at: www.everymindmatters.co.uk
David Bulbeck, 55, from Windsor
David first recognised he was struggling with his mental health in 1995 when he was stressed at work and lost his grandfather. He started having problems sleeping, which led him to feel exhausted and disassociated from things around him.
During a second, more recent period of struggles, David knew he needed to act quickly and get help. He now recognises the signs and is able to take steps to manage his feelings.
He said: “One of my coping mechanisms is to ensure I have lots of interests so that there is always something to keep me occupied. I recently took up cycling and I find it incredibly therapeutic as I have to focus on the road directly in front of me - not into the future or the past – which is how I try and approach life.”
David also likes photography, singing and practices meditation and mindfulness.
The father of two said: “Mindfulness helps me focus, calms me down and puts things in perspective. If I’m worrying about something, I also ask myself will I be thinking about this in three months’ time? If the answer’s no – it will be long gone – then I tell myself it’s not worth worrying about.
“My advice would be to be open about your feelings and take time for yourself. I spend just 15 minutes a day on mindfulness when I’m not think about being dad, manager, mentor at work or anything else.”
Keiran Koasha, 31, from Bracknell
Keiran, who works as a multi-trader, believes his mental health issues stem from when he was a child. He started experiencing symptoms of low mood, stress, and sleep difficulties over a year ago.
He said: “I got into bad habits – as a teenager I was only sleeping four hours a night and this became normal. It was affecting my everyday life – I was grumpy, forgetful, couldn’t concentrate, wasn’t having breaks at work, and was arguing with my partner. All my issues seemed to lead back to lack of sleep.”
He attended Talking Therapies and had sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Keiran put a strategy in place to manage his sleep, including having a routine, cutting out screen time before bed, and reading before bed, which made a significant difference.
He added: “I now feel a lot happier and in a way I feel lighter. I’m able to concentrate on things and understand better.
“My advice would be look at your sleep pattern and try and improve it – and cut out caffeine in the evening.”
PHE survey results
The PHE survey also found:
 81%of respondents reported experiencing at least one concern - low mood, anxiety, stress, trouble sleeping, social anxiety, depression, panic, obsessions and compulsions, or trauma in the last 12 months.
Regional Communications Manager
Public Health England
07789 295 811
About Every Mind Matters