The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are launching today a platform that people experiencing signs of poor mental health will be able to use in order to build a personalised action plan and improve their wellbeing.
Called Every Mind Matters, the resource, which has received the endorsement of the Royal College of General Practitioners, will offer support in tackling anxiety and stress and improving sleep patterns. This includes help for reframing thoughts that are unhelpful, tips for being more active and breathing exercises.
PHE said the development of the platform was carried out with the input of people with experience of poor mental health, as well as clinical and academic experts and mental health charities. It has been released after 18 months of planning and local and regional trialing.
Some of the biggest companies in the UK, including Greggs, have reportedly already committed to adopt the resource for its employees and customers. The NHS also said it would promote it to its staff.
WHY IT MATTERS
The launch of the platform comes as a new PHE survey of nearly 3,400 adults, carried out online this summer, reveals that over eight in 10 people have felt anxious and stressed and have reported having low mood or issues sleeping in the past 12 months.
Furthermore, over 25% of people experiencing early signs of poor mental health said they had waited at least half a year before seeking help, while 36% said they turned to unhealthy eating habits and 34% to drinking alcohol.
“Over the past few years there’s been a profound sea change in public attitudes and awareness about mental health. So at the same time the NHS is expanding the availability of specialist mental health support and treatment, people are increasingly interested in practical steps they can take themselves to prevent and manage common mental health problems such as anxiety, stress and depression,” said Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive. “That’s where Every Mind Matters comes in, as a helpful complement to the work of NHS mental health teams and services.”
THE LARGER TREND
The initiative has got the backing of the Dukes and Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex, who will appear in a promotional film that will be shown on TV tonight.
This is the latest campaign that the royal family is supporting to break the stigma around poor mental health. Earlier this year, the Duke of Cambridge announced the launch of text messaging helpline Shout, a digital mental health service providing help for those in need. In 2018, Prince William introduced Mental Health at Work, a platform aiming to link employers and employees to resources about mental health.
ON THE RECORD
In statement, health secretary Matt Hancock said:
“Our health - both mental and physical - is an asset that needs to be nurtured. We’re all aware of the benefits of looking after our physical health and the steps we can take to keep ourselves healthy, but many of us are not as knowledgeable or proactive as we could be when it comes to our mental health.
“Every Mind Matters will benefit us all with an accessible tool to help manage our wellbeing at the click of a button. It will offer vital support to those living with a mental health condition and give each of us valuable and personalised tips on how to better cope with life’s daily struggles, while contributing to tackling the stigma that can still surround mental health.”