New campaign to improve public mental health

The government has launched a new campaign to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the general public.

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), which was only officially launched on 1st October 2021, has initiated its first campaign as part of the government’s mission to tackle health problems at an earlier stage.

The Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign is designed to empower people to support their own mental health through practical tips and expert advice.

Half of adults struggling with mental wellbeing

It comes as new research commissioned by OHID, which will be responsible for tackling health inequalities across the nation, found that nearly half (49%) of adults in England said that the Covid-19 pandemic had a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

The campaign aims to tackle this by urging people to find out “what works for me” in terms of reducing feelings of stress and anxiety, boosting mood, sleeping better and feeling in greater control of their lives.

The OHID study also revealed that just over a third of adults in England (34% or 15.1 million people) said they did not know what they could do to improve their own mental wellbeing.

Researchers also found that younger adults aged 18-34 were the most significantly affected group, with 57% within this age group saying that the pandemic had negatively affected their mental health and 44% admitting that they did not know what to do to improve it.

The Every Mind Matters platform enables people to answer 5 questions in exchange for a tailored ‘Mind Plan’ which will provide them with personalised tips.

Expert mental health advice

Minister for Care and Mental Health, Gillian Keegan, said the general public had demonstrated “great resilience” throughout the last 18 months but that the pandemic had “served as a stark reminder that we all need to look after ourselves not only physically, but mentally.”

She added:

“There are simple steps we can all be taking to improve our mental wellbeing and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. For anyone who is unsure what they can do, I urge you to visit Every Mind Matters and take advantage of the expert advice and practical tips available to you.”

Meanwhile, the NHS National Director for Mental Health, Claire Murdoch, assured people: “[…] The NHS is here for you, so if you’re struggling with anxiety and depression our rapidly expanding talking therapy services are available, while anyone who needs urgent help can access our 24/7 NHS crisis lines – available to people of all ages.

“I would encourage everyone to look after their mental health, and by answering 5 simple questions, get a tailored ‘mind plan’ which will give you tips to help boost your mood, sleep better and deal with stress and anxiety.”

Support for mental health campaign

The new campaign is supported by a coalition of mental health charities, including CALM, The Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Innovations and a range of commercial, third sector, NHS and local authority partners, including Mental Health First Aid England.

It has also received celebrity backing. Actor, writer and mental health advocate Stephen Fry is voicing a new television advert that highlights ‘what works for me’ and provides details of simple steps people can take to support their mental health, such as being active, talking about their worries or taking up a hobby.

He spoke in support of the campaign, saying:

“It’s fair to say that the last 18 months have presented us all with uniquely different and challenging obstacles from a mental health perspective. However, just like keeping in physical shape, it is important to find activities you enjoy to keep your mind healthy.

“I’ve found food preparation and cooking has helped me relax over the past year. It’s all about finding what works best for you to help deal with the everyday stresses and strains of life – it could be exercise, baking a cake or getting stuck in with gardening – the list is endless.

“If you are struggling and need advice then check out the Every Mind Matters website for tips and guidance to get you started today.”

Mental health training and support

Mental health learning and development solutions can also play a significant role in helping managers, supervisors and frontline workers to recognise mental health risks and proactively support positive mental health and wellbeing across the UK workforce.

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading national training provider delivering courses in subjects such as health and safety, first aid, fire safety, manual handling, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care, safeguarding and more.

An accredited Mindful Employer themselves, FRT’s specialist mental health training courses include Understanding Mental HealthMental Health Awareness in the WorkplaceManaging Stress in the WorkplaceAnxiety and Phobias AwarenessSelf-Harm Awareness and Suicide Awareness.

They can also provide qualified, approved trainers to deliver accredited Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training courses, including the Adult, Youth and Lite versions.

A trainer from FRT says:

“It’s vitally important that we prioritise our mental health and wellbeing in the same way that we do our physical health.

“There are simple steps we can all take to proactively support and promote positive mental wellbeing and it’s important that people are aware of these and that we are focusing on preventative strategies as well as treatment and recovery for those that need it. Our mental health courses look at ways of supporting mental health, including Mind’s five ways to wellbeing, and explore techniques to build emotional resilience.

“Businesses and organisations across the UK can experience immense benefits if they provide relevant mental health training for their staff.”

We have a number of free infographics available to download which provide simple tips for helping to manage your mental health and wellbeing. These include:

You can also download our free Guide to Mental Health Training from our website.

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to [email protected]