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How everyone in Kent can mark World Mental Health Day

It's World Mental Health Day and in Kent, health organisations are backing Public Health England 's national Every Mind Matters campaign.

Suicide prevention is this year's World Mental Health Day theme. It is the most common cause of death for men aged 20 to 49.

Andrew Scott-Clark, KCC’s director of public health
Andrew Scott-Clark, KCC’s director of public health

Britain has been urged to talk more and last night many buildings, including Herne Bay's clock tower, were bathed in purple light to boost awareness of mental health.

This week's Britain's Got Talent final also went silent during the TV show to mark the campaign and encourage viewers to talk to one another.

Today, Maidstone and Mid Kent Mind has launched a youth mental health programme called Mindfulness and Me.

KCC’s director of public health Andrew Scott-Clark said: “The campaign is starting a national conversation which we are supporting.

"By encouraging people across the county to join that conversation, we are supporting residents to feel more confident in taking action to take care of their mental health and wellbeing.

World Mental Health Day 2019 (19011032)
World Mental Health Day 2019 (19011032)

"There is no single solution but by promoting self-care actions to promote good mental health and tackle common problems, as well as signposting the wider resources and services for those in greater need available in Kent, we hope the conversation will go far and wide.”

Every Mind Matters is the first national NHS mental health campaign encouraging adults to be more aware of their mental health and is designed to help them discover simple steps to look after themselves.

Kelly August of Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) said: "We are doing a number of things countywide and supporting individual groups with events they are holding.

"It is a great time to be talking mental health as there is more support and funding for mental health care. But it is hugely important to reduce stigma even further.

"No one understands the journey unless they’ve been down a similar path. That is why we believe it is more important than ever to employ people with lived experience.

"This is something which not only helps our patients but helps healthcare professionals have a greater understanding of the journey our patients are on. This is also an amazing opportunity for our new Medical School which is now accepting applications."

She added: "There will be a focus on mental health within primary care networks under the new commissioning arrangements which will see one integrated care system covering the whole of Kent and Medway."

World Mental Health Day was set up by the World Federation for Mental Health and was first marked in 1992.

Ten Tips

1. Talk about your feelings

2. Exercise

3. Eat well

4. Drink sensibly

5. Keep in touch with loved ones

6. Ask for help

7. Take a break

8. Do something you’re good at

9. Accept who you are

10. Care for others

Where to get help

There is a free NHS-approved 'app' for people to create a personal action plan to deal with stress and anxiety at www.kent.gov.uk/everymindmatters

Live Well Kent provides a free, holistic service for residents aged 17 and above run by Shaw Trust in west Kent and Porchlight in east Kent. It is paid for by KCC and all the county's clinical commissioning groups except Medway. Call free on 0800 567 7699 or visit www.livewellkent.org.uk

Release the Pressure gives 24-hour advice for those feeling suicidal. Call free on 0800 107 0160 or visit www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/health/release-the-pressure

Moodspark at www.moodspark.org.uk has been developed by HeadStart Kent, part of Children, Young People and Education Services, and gives advice on good emotional health for young people. It is part of Kent Resilience Hub at www.kentresiliencehub.org.uk

Medway 5 Carers group supports carers and relatives of people with mental illness.

To talk to The Samaritans call 116 123.

Read more: For other health stories across Kent click here.

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