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Mental health and five ways to wellbeing

10 March 2016


Partners organisations responsible for promoting Five Ways to Wellbeing – an initiative to encourage people to think differently when it comes to mental health – came together to mark its five-month milestone last week.
Since its launch in September, the campaign has had a monthly focus on each of the initiatives five key themes:

Connect – with the people around you, family, friends, colleagues and neighbours
Be Active – by discovering a physical activity you enjoy that suits your level of mobility and fitness
Take Notice – by being curious and being aware of the world around you and what you are feeling
Keep Learning – by trying something new and setting a challenge you will enjoy achieving.
Give – by doing something nice for a friend or a stranger, joining a community group or simple carrying out a random act of kindness, for example
  
Anyone can suffer from a mental health issue and, annually, at least one in six people will experience a mental health problem. Mental health related illness is the leading cause of long-term absence from work.
The Five Ways partners – Central Bedfordshire Council, Bedford Borough Council, Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) and East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), which provides the Bedfordshire Mental Health and Wellbeing Service – have been promoting the initiative through social media, partner websites and an email campaign.

Councillor James Jamieson, Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, said:
“The mental health and wellbeing of Bedfordshire people is a key priority for health, social and community organisations across Bedfordshire. We want people to help themselves become more resilient. Sometimes just trying something new or thinking differently can make a big difference.”

Ben Salmons works for ELFT and is also a Bedfordshire resident. He started a campaign last year which is backed by ELFT to break the stigma associated with mental health issues. He said:

“I set up the Let's Be Open About Mental Health To Break The Stigma campaign to help start conversations around mental health and tackle common misconceptions about the subject. I hope this will also reassure anyone who is struggling that it is ok to ask for help, whether that is through their GP or other mental health services.”

Cllr Louise Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Public Health at Bedford Borough Council, added:

"Most of us will experience a mental health problem like anxiety or depression at some time in our lives, and I've learned that looking after my mind is as important as looking after my body. The Five Ways are simple steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing and cope with life's challenges".

For more information and links to self help guides, take a look at the Council’s website: www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/fiveways. You can also take a look at Ben’s Facebook page by visiting www.facebook.com/LetsBeOpenAboutMentalHealth/.

Notes to editors

Mental health issues can take the form of depression, anxiety, sadness, anger, extreme shyness, obsessive behaviour, phobias or relationship difficulties.

A Bedfordshire Health and Wellbeing Action Plan has been developed with partner’s and details the integrated and impactful approach to roll out a local ‘five ways to wellbeing’ campaign across Bedfordshire.

Mental health facts:
• At least one in six people will experience a mental health problem in any one year and mental health illness is the leading cause of long-term absence from work.
• It affects people of all ages. Ten per cent of 15-16 year olds will experience a mental health problem.
• Older people are at an increased risk of depression due to factors such as retirement, social isolation, bereavement and, long-term illness and disability.
• The Bedfordshire Mental Health and Wellbeing Service provided by ELFT offers support for individuals who are experiencing depression, anxiety, sadness, anger, extreme shyness, obsessive behaviour, phobias or relationship difficulties.
• People can contact their GP about accessing mental health and wellbeing service or call 01582 393144 direct.

For further information please contact Anna Copperwheat, Communications Officer on 0300 300 4671 or email anna.copperwheat@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

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