Public Health England, in partnership with the NHS has launched Every Mind Matters, a new way of empowering people to manage and improve their mental health.
Every Mind Matters aims to help people take simple steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing and support others.
Why did Every Mind Matters come about?
The government’s manifesto included a commitment to train a million people in mental health first aid. As we developed an approach to deliver this promise it became clear that the it would be more effective to deliver a campaign which gave a million people the skills to improve their own mental health and support others, rather than deliver a specific training intervention.
What does it hope to address?
The Every Mind Matters campaign will give people the skills to improve their mental health in a number of key areas. We have prioritised sleep, anxiety, low mood and stress as these are the most common mental health concerns where there is good evidence for self-help. We are also working with trauma, obsessions and compulsions, social anxiety and panic. In addition, there is an area of the campaign dedicated to mental wellbeing.
In short, the aim is to improve mental health literacy (improving our understanding of what mental health is, how we can improve it and what we should do if we have mental health problems) across England.
How will it do this?
At the heart of the campaign is “My Mind Plan”; we ask people a few simple questions about their mental health priorities and any specific concerns they currently have and then we suggest an action plan, based on these needs, which people can then tailor to fit in with their lives. All the actions suggested can be safely attempted by anyone at little or no cost. They have been drawn from evidence for self-help and reviewed by a range of experts.
In addition, we have a good range of how to guides in various forms, links to a range of other resources and advice on when to seek help if your mental health deteriorates, advice on how to support others and what you might expect if you need to access mental health services.
How is the Mental Health Foundation involved?
The Mental Health Foundation has been involved from the start in a variety of ways. I have been working directly on the project part time for the last two years, with a particular focus on identifying and understanding the evidence for self-help and then translating this evidence into accessible actions that anyone can try.
The Mental Health Foundation have also contributed through a Content Delivery Group; and our publications and research have been extremely useful as part of the campaign’s evidence base. A number of staff have also helped me directly with meeting some of the challenges of developing a national campaign.
How can our supporters get involved?
The best way anyone can get involved is to use “my mind plan” to create your own action plan and se what effect this has on your mental health. People could also do this as groups – we know from Mental Health Foundation work in peer support that working together makes things easier, more fun and even more effective.
What would you like to see from Every Mind Matters?
We would love to see as many people benefit as possible. I think it would be great for community groups to use this as a catalyst to engage in a range of activities which we know will improve the country’s mental health. In short, the campaign will have succeeded if a million people have a go and gain some benefits for their mental health.
Every Mind Matters
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.