Public Health England (PHE), in partnership with the NHS, has launched 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 more than seven in ten (78%) people from an African, Caribbean and Black British background or community 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.
A quarter (27%) of people who experienced signs of poor mental health from an African, Caribbean and Black British background waited at least six months before taking action to manage their mental health.
The PHE survey also found that amongst those from an African, Caribbean and Black British background:
- nearly half (47%) people who experienced concerns about their mental health turned to unhealthy behaviours – smoking, drinking alcohol, unhealthy eating or taking recreational drugs
- four in ten (42%) of people who experienced concerns about their mental health avoided social situations or contact from friends and family
- a quarter (25%) people who experienced concerns about their mental health called in sick to work and 11% quit their jobs
- of those who took action, over a quarter (28%) only did so when it was having an impact on their daily life
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.
The powerful film features a range of people whose lives have been affected by poor mental health, including a cast of well-known faces: Jordan Stephens, Nadiya Hussain, Gillian Anderson, Glenn Close, Freddie Flintoff, Professor Green, Davina McCall, Will Young, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sarah Taylor, Rob Beckett, Katie Piper, Joe Sugg and Alastair Campbell.
Vanessa Boachie, Founder and Director of Inside Out, a not-for-profit social enterprise committed to helping people improve their mental health and wellbeing said:
“After witnessing a friend attempting to take his own life, this affected my own mental health. At the time, I didn’t know what to do and I felt helpless, hopeless and anxious. Through conversations with young people in my community, it was clear that I wasn’t alone, there were many young people I spoke to who were experiencing difficulties with poor mental health – whether that was people who didn’t know what to do about how they were feeling or people who didn’t know how to support their loved ones.
“This insight led me to set up Inside Out, we strive to help young people, particularly within the Afro-Caribbean/Black British community improve their mental health through prevention, early interventions programmes and signposting to services available. That’s why I’m supportive of Every Mind Matters, it’s brilliant that there is another tool out there to help improve our mental health.”
Chantelle Lewis, Co-Founder of Risen, a charity dedicated to helping people to access mental health services said:
“We know from our work at Risen that many black people do indeed wait too long to find support for their mental health for a range of reasons such as the social stigma which still exists around poor mental health. It’s imperative however that action is taken early and this is why we are proud to support Every Mind Matters which is packed with free, simple and proactive steps, including a quiz which provides a personalised plan to help us all be better prepared for life’s challenges.”
To discover simple steps for a healthier mind, create your bespoke action plan at http://www.everymindmatters.co.uk
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