* PHE launches new campaign encouraging people to look after their mental health as they do physical health.
* Nearly three quarters of people in the East Midlands say they experience one or more feelings of anxiety, low mood, stress or problems sleeping frequently or occasionally.
* South Asian communities encouraged to talk about mental health.
* New online guide will help people take steps to improve and manage their mental health.
Public Health England (PHE) is encouraging adults to look after their mental health as they do their physical health through its new Every Mind Matters campaign – launching as a pilot exclusively in the East and West Midlands this World Mental Health Day (Wednesday 10 October).
The new campaign highlights that while we can all feel stressed, anxious, low or have trouble sleeping, there are simple actions we can take to manage them and prevent these issues from becoming more serious.
It encourages people to visit the Every Mind Matters guide, a free NHS-approved online resource, which provides expert advice, practical tips, and experiences from real people to help manage these issues and those of others.
Each year, around one in four people in England experience a mental health problem and the proportion of diagnosable common mental health conditions* has increased by 20% in 20 years. A new survey of adults in the Midlands conducted for PHE also shows nearly three quarters (73%) of people in the East Midlands report experiencing one or more of low mood, anxiety, stress and trouble sleeping frequently or occasionally.
Stress is the most common response, with over half (55%) experiencing this frequently or occasionally, compared to 54% for sleeplessness, 47% for low mood and 41% for anxiety.
The survey also found that more than two thirds (69%) of adults in the East Midlands say they look after their physical health on a weekly basis, but less than half (47%) look after their mental health as regularly.
These figures highlight the importance of helping people to better understand and take action on their own mental health.
Having good mental health can help us feel and function better, have more positive relationships with those around us and deal with and manage difficult times now and into the future. Over time, having good mental health may also reduce our risk of physical health problems.
Professor Swaran Preet Singh, Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing at Warwick Medical School, said: “There is social stigma and shame associated with mental health within South Asian communities so it’s important that we don’t shy away from talking about it but recognise that with the pressures of modern life, it’s normal to feel stressed, anxious, low or have trouble sleeping some of the time. However, when these become overwhelming or frequent they can manifest into a more serious problem.
“I’d like to encourage South Asian communities to feel empowered to look after their own mental health by finding simple actions that can manage or prevent issues from becoming more serious.”
Myira Khan, Founder of Muslim Counsellor and Psychotherapist Network (MCAPN), said: “We fully support the new Every Mind Matters campaign and are committed to helping Muslims to better understand mental health and break down barriers and stigma associated with mental health.
“As we work with clients from diverse backgrounds, we recognise the importance of offering faith and culturally sensitive counselling services to our BAME communities, immediately reducing stigmas and eliminating barriers to accessing help and support.”
“We would like to encourage Muslims to visit the Every Mind Matters guide online, to see how it can help them look after their own mental health or support family and friends who may have mental health problems.”
The Every Mind Matters guide also offers support for social anxiety, trauma, obsessions and compulsions or panic attacks and provides information for people wishing to help friends, family and colleagues experiencing mental health problems.
Every Mind Matters has been developed in conjunction with leading charities, academics and clinicians and is endorsed by leading experts in mental health.
It is being promoted to adults across the Midlands with new TV, radio and online adverts; and is being supported by a range of public sector, charity and commercial partners.
To access the Every Mind Matters digital platform, including expert-led videos, and create your own action plan to help look after your mental health, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
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