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Every Mind Matters: Mental health campaign launches in Shropshire

By Aimee Jones | Health | Published:

A new campaign has been launched in Shropshire to encourage people to look after their mental health as they do their physical health.

It comes as Public Health England (PHE) revealed nearly three quarters of people in the region experience anxiety, low mood, stress or problems sleeping.

The Every Mind Matters campaign - launched exclusively in the West Midlands yesterday - includes a new online guide to help people take steps to improve and manage their mental health.

It encourages people to visit the 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.

Find out more:

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 per cent in 20 years, accessing to PHE.

One Shropshire woman's story

Lisa Richards

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A Shrewsbury woman who suffered a traumatic life event when she was a teenager is backing the Every Mind Matters campaign.

Lisa Richards, 51, who works in urban planning in Telford, knows the importance of managing mental health following a traumatic experience growing up.

She said: “When I was 19 my mother attempted to take her own life.

"She’d suffered with anxiety and depression for a long time, like her own mother, but my dad’s Crohn’s Disease meant he was often very unwell and spent a lot of time in hospital, and my mum had also suffered a back injury which stopped her working – so all the pressure just added up and she couldn’t take any more.

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“Although my mother survived, in some ways we lost her as a family, as she was the shadow of her former self. This really affected me and I felt anxious, upset, and a huge sense of loss, grieving for the mother I had lost.”

Nearly a decade later, Lisa hit rock bottom after returning from a trip to Australia.

Suppressing

She said: “When I was 27, I took a month of work to go travelling, mainly in Australia, where I had some family. It was a really amazing trip of a lifetime, but being away from everything gave me chance to reflect - and far from ‘getting away from everything’, I realised I’d been suppressing feelings linked to my mother’s attempted suicide and I couldn’t escape them, wherever I went.

"When I came back from my trip I hit a real low point in my life and realised I needed to take some time out and get support from counselling.

“I learned how important it is to recognise the signs of stress, trauma and low mood, and manage them so they didn’t spiral out of control. I self-manage with the aid of yoga and meditation every morning, and find that really helps.

“I also enjoy swimming and walking in the local park - just taking time to be in the present moment is really helpful. It’s really important that people understand how everyday stresses and different events in your life can pile up and overwhelm you - which is why you need to take care of your mental health every day, and know there are things you can do to improve and maintain your mental wellbeing.”

New campaign helps you take your mental health into your own hands

Dr Lola Abudu, director of health and wellbeing with PHE West Midlands, said: "With the pressures of modern life, it’s normal to feel stressed, anxious, low or have trouble sleeping some of the time. But when these become overwhelming or frequent they can manifest into a more serious problem.

"It’s just as important to take action to look after your mental health, as you would your physical health. Our campaign helps you take your mental health into your own hands, so you can protect and improve your own mental health and that of others."

A new survey of adults conducted for PHE also shows 70 per cent of people in the West 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 of people experiencing symptoms frequently or occasionally, compared to 49 per cent for sleeplessness, 44 per cent for low mood and 38% per cent regularly.

Need help?

  • Help and advice for those having a mental health crisis is available from a number of agencies in Shropshire.
  • Shropshire Mind - 01743 368647 or shropshiremind.org
  • Samaritans - 116 123 or samaritans.org
  • Access Service for Adult Mental Health - 03001 240365

Chief Superintendent Sean Russell, director of implementation for health and wellbeing at the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) added: "We are delighted to be a campaign ambassador for Every Mind Matters, encouraging and helping people to look after their mental health.

"We have been a key partner in engaging employers across the region and the Every Mind Matters online guide will be a component for accreditation for the Thrive at Work scheme, rewarding employers for improving employees’ health and wellbeing."

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.

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

News reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering North Shropshire, including Ellesmere, Whitchurch and Wem.

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