Public Health England and the NHS have launched Every Mind Matters, a resource to help people manage and improve their mental health, urging GPs to refer their patients to its tools.
Endorsed by the RCGP, Every Mind Matters allows people to create a free, personalised action plan to help deal with stress, improve sleep or boost their mood.
It also includes ’evidenced-based’ preventative steps people can take to manage concerns before they escalate.
Every Mind Matters is part of the NHS’s aim to give equal priority to both mental and physical health problems, given that mental illness is the largest cause of disability in the UK and costs the economy £105bn annually, according to the Centre for Mental Health.
It was initially announced in a consultation paper, called Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s, and has gone live from this month.
PHE said 83% of people have experienced early signs of poor health, including feeling anxious, stressed and having low mood or trouble sleeping, in the last year.
More than a quarter of people who experienced those signs waited at least six months before taking steps to manage their mental health.
Duncan Selbie, chief executive of PHE, said: ’Our health is affected by our circumstances, including having a job, friends and a roof over our heads. Anxiety, stress, low mood and trouble sleeping can affect everyone. Every Mind Matters aims to help people to better handle life’s ups and downs.’
Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, added: ’Over the past few years there’s been a profound sea change in public attitudes and awareness about mental health. So at the same time the NHS is expanding the availability of specialist mental health support and treatment, people are increasingly interested in practical steps they can take themselves to prevent and manage common mental health problems such as anxiety, stress and depression.
’That’s where Every Mind Matters comes in, as a helpful complement to the work of NHS mental health teams and services.’