Mental health campaign launches
Public Health England’s (PHE) Every Mind Matters platform has launched new advice focused on looking after people’s mental wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
New data shows more than 4 in 5 Brits are worried about the effect that coronavirus is having on their life. Over half said it was affecting their wellbeing and nearly half reporting high levels of anxiety.
Every Mind Matters highlights that there are lots of things we can do to look after our mental wellbeing and help others to prevent these concerns from becoming more serious.
Professor Paul Cosford, Emeritus Medical Director at Public Health England, said:
“During the coronavirus outbreak, it is natural for all of us to feel worried or anxious, but there are things we can all do to help ourselves and others, to prevent these feelings from becoming more serious.
“Every Mind Matters offers NHS-endorsed guidance on the simple things we can do to maintain good mental wellbeing.”
Tailored COVID-19 Mind Plan
There is a new range of new resources to help manage our mental wellbeing during coronavirus, including a tailored COVID-19 Mind Plan.
This has COVID-19 specific content for individuals and their loved ones. As well as support for specific mental wellbeing issues such as anxiety, stress, low mood and trouble sleeping.
The website signposts people to activities such as mindful breathing exercises, help reframing unhelpful thoughts and muscle relaxation.
To help get this vital message out there, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are supporting Every Mind Matters and have narrated a new short film set to be broadcast across national TV channels from Monday 20 April.
The film portrays a range of people whose lives have been affected by COVID-19. It aims to reassure people that support is available and encourages everyone to take care of their mental wellbeing at this difficult time.
5 Tips from the NHS for maintaining mental wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak
- Talk about your worries: it is normal to feel worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Maintain contact with friends and family via phone and video calls to share how you are feeling
- Keep a regular routine and set goals: you may need to set a new routine for now. Try writing a plan for your day with the things you can still do at home, such as watching a film, reading a book or completing a puzzle. Setting goals and achieving them gives a sense of control and purpose. Maintaining good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how you feel mentally and physically too, so it’s important to get enough (the Every Mind Matters sleep page provides practical advice)
- Manage your media and information intake: if 24-hour news and constant social media updates are making you worried, try to limit the time you spend watching, reading or listening to coverage of the outbreak to once or twice a day
- Do things you enjoy and try something new: focusing on your favourite hobby, learning something new or simply taking time to relax indoors should give you some relief from anxious thoughts and feelings and can help boost your mood. Look online for free tutorials and courses
- Look after your body: our physical health has a big impact on how we feel. At times like these it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour that end up making you feel worse. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. You can leave your house, alone or with members of your household, for one form of exercise a day – like a walk, run or bike ride. But make sure you keep a safe 2-metre distance from others
You can view these and more tips on Every Mind Matters.
Claire Murdoch, national director for Mental Health at NHS England and Improvement, said:
“While we stay indoors to protect our loved ones and save lives, we must also think about ourselves and how we can protect our mental wellbeing, which is why I am pleased Every Mind Matters reflects current pressures and am encouraging everyone who needs it to visit the website, which includes advice on dealing with stress and anxiety.”
For more information, search ‘Every Mind Matters’ online or visit www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters to create your personalised Mind Plan.