Editorial – 09 Oct 2019

Every Mind Matters is a new platform launched jointly by Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS on 07.10.2019 to help people to take simple steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing and support others.

The new advert has voiceovers by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The film also features famous people whose lives have also been affected by poor mental health including: Freddie Flintoff, Professor Green, Davina McCall, Nadiya Hussain, Rob Beckett and Katie Piper amongst others.

Within just one day, reports came in that the platform was struggling to cope with demand due to the huge amount of traffic. This is encouraging, because it shows that people are now willing to start recognising and looking after their own mental health or use it to help someone else who may be struggling.

An article in the Guardian is asking why there are fitness tips for people who could be experiencing low mood or anxiety. I agree that science has proved that it helps low mood, but 1. it’s a mental issue rather than physical, 2. exercise is not the answer to everything and 3. what about those who struggle to get out of bed every day?

For too long now, we’ve all been guilty of just ‘getting on with it’ if we are facing difficulties in life which may sometimes feel overwhelming. I have been there myself during a period of heavy stress due to a close family bereavement, a close in-law bereavement, sorting the estates, friction with both families, changing my job and moving house and leaving behind a home that had been owned by my parents for 50+ years. Such a lot of things within one year left me very close to breaking point.

I did not recognise the signs of my struggle and it felt like I was on auto-pilot for a long time. It is hard to be kind to yourself and allow that space to heal when so many other people and things demand your time and attention every day. It took probably a year until I felt I could start living again, and I still get wobbly sometimes even now. It has been less than 2 years ago but I do feel that I’ve now come through the other side. I meditate regularly and I find this really helps me to balance my mind. However, different things work for different people.

I welcome this campaign as I do believe every should be more aware of their own mental health and the physical symptoms that can accompany it, for themselves, and their loved ones. If you know somebody who is going through a period of stress but may not seem willing to talk about it, then do send them the link to the website. This is a good way for someone to think about what may be affecting them or to reach out for help.

Having looked at the site, I’m not sure there is enough detail to help those who are suffering from specifically related types of stress/problems. As we know, everyone is different, and doing the quiz just generates a universal raft of links. Hopefully it will help some who are looking for ideas on where to turn, but it may not be enough for those who need more direction. It is a good start, but certainly more work is needed.  Please click here to see this week’s article for more information.

Every Mind Matters

Lin Mason

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