Mental health and five ways to wellbeing

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".

More information and links to self help guides are on our website. You can also take a look at Ben’s Facebook page (link opens in new window)

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