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Survey on Children and Young Peoples Mental Health

Survey on Mental Health for Children and Young People Add to Your Support

Do you want to help improve mental health services for children and young people in Kent?

NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and Kent County Council, which plan and pay for emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people in the area, are preparing to buy a new Children’s and Young People’s Mental Health Service.

It’s important that the service reflects the needs and expectations of patients and their families. If you are a patient, carer, young person or child who has used CAMHS you are invited to complete this survey. Your views and experiences will help to shape a new and improved service for Kent.

To access the survey and share your views go to:


10 Minute Shake ups 2016

10 Minute Shake Up’s for Summer Add to Your Support

Change 4 Life are running the 10 Minute Shake Up challenge again this summer.  10 Minute Shake Up’s are quick and easy activities to get your kids moving and active this summer.  Change 4 Life have teamed up with Disney and created some fantastic ways to help your kids get the recommended 60 minutes or more of physical activity they need every day. Being active helps your kids maintain a healthy weight and helps their heart and bones stay healthy. Plus, playing together can also help them develop social skills and gain confidence. There’ll be loads of games to choose from.

Change 4 Life have teamed with Disney to get your kids to have more fun this summer so why not sign up for 10 minute shake up’s, its free, you will get:

  • A free pack with stopwatch, activity cards, Disney themed wall chart & stickers
  • Lots of games and activities in the 10 minute shake up zone

Go to Change 4 Life and sign up to shake up your summer now!

Change 4 Life 10 Minute Shake Ups

To see all the 10 Minute Shake Up featuring all the Disney characters go to: www.nhs.uk/change4life-beta/campaigns/ten-minute-shake-up/shake-ups

Want more ideas from Change for Life?

To sign up for change for life go to: change4life.co.uk

Smart Food Swaps



National Parks Week 2016

National Parks Week 2016 Add to Your Support

National Parks Week is the National Parks family’s annual celebration of everything that is unique and wonderful about Britain’s breathing spaces. It runs from Monday 25 to Sunday 31 July 2016.

The theme for National Parks Week 2016 is adventure. With diverse landscapes, activities and events there’s an adventure waiting at whatever scale suits you!

In national parks you can have adventures for all those thrill seekers looking for their next adrenaline rush. As well as countless events on in each park throughout the week aimed specifically at children. National Parks are also running  ‘adventures for beginners’. There is an adventure out there for everyone so why not make the most of your national park.

Make the most of your National Parks

National Parks week is run by : www.nationalparks.gov.uk and they have compiled some of their favourites, to inspire you:

There are countless outdoor activities in which to take part, including walkingcycling and star-gazing.

Enjoying one of our National Parks is a great way to Be Active and Take Notice, two of the Six Ways to Wellbeing.

Photo used (C) of southdownsnp on instagram.

Couch to 5K Running Plan

Couch to 5K – free running plan Add to Your Support

Taking up running can seem like a scary prospect, especially if you feel out of shape or unfit. But, did you know that regular running can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, boost your mood and keep your weight under control?
The Couch to 5K plan is designed to get you off the couch and gradually work you up to running 5K or for half an hour, in just nine weeks.

What is Couch to 5K?

Couch to 5K is a running plan developed to help absolute beginners get into running. The beginners’ running plan was developed by a novice runner, Josh Clark, who wanted to help his fiftysomething mum get off the couch and start running too. The plan involves three runs per week, with a day of rest in between, with a different schedule for each of the nine weeks.

How does Couch to 5K work?

Probably the biggest challenge a novice runner faces is not knowing how or where to start. Often when trying to get into exercise, we can overdo it, feel defeated and give up when we’re just getting started. Couch to 5K works because it starts with a mix of running and walking, to gradually build up your fitness and stamina. Week One involves running for just a minute at a time, creating realistic expectations and making the challenge feel achievable right from the start.

Who is Couch to 5K for?

Couch to 5K is for everyone. Whether you’ve never run before, or if you want to get back into being more active, Couch to 5K is a free and easy way of getting fitter and more healthy. If you have any health concerns about beginning an exercise regime such as Couch to 5K, make an appointment to see your GP and discuss it with them first.

To read about the Couch to 5K plan on NHS Choices follow the link: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/get-running-with-couch-to-5k.aspx

To download the running plan: www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Couch-to-5K-running-plan.aspx

To download the free app at Change 4 Life: http://www.nhs.uk/change4life/pages/couch-to-5k.aspx

Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse Help Add to Your Support

One woman in four (and one man in six) in the UK will be a victim of domestic violence during their lifetime, according to research estimates. You dont have to be a victim and can get domestic abuse help. Domestic violence is officially classified as “any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been in a relationship together, or between family members, regardless of gender or sexuality”. We think of domestic violence as hitting, slapping and beating, but it can also include emotional abuse as well as forced marriage and so-called “honour crimes”.

It’s abuse if your partner or a family member:

  • threatens you
  • shoves or pushes you
  • makes you fear for your physical safety
  • puts you down, or attempts to undermine your self-esteem
  • controls you, for example by stopping you seeing your friends and family
  • is jealous and possessive, such as being suspicious of your friendships and conversations
  • frightens you

You don’t have to wait for an emergency situation to seek help. You can:

For more advice about Domestic Abuse go to the NHS choices Domestic Abuse page by following the link.



Is Your Mate off of their game?

Is your Mate off of their Game? Add to Your Support

How do you know if your mate is off their game? Every year, one in four of us faces a mental health problem. That means the odds are 3/1 that at least one player on every five-a-side team is wrestling with a mental health problem right now. Or in every bus queue, at every tea-break or in every boy band. Feeling miserable puts you off your game so how do you know if you or someone you know has a mental health problem? You can’t tell by looking, but we can kick mental health problems into touch just by not ignoring them.

What if a mate has a problem?
Don’t judge. Because we don’t really understand mental health problems, sometimes we shy away from people who have them. We pretend we’re different, that these things won’t affect us. But they do. One person in four means that mental health problems are very common. They hit people just like us. In fact, they can hit you or me.  By being around for someone with a mental health problem, you’re being a mate when they need you most. If you think a mate is bottling something up, there’s a simple way to make a difference:

Do something together: Car, computer, exercise, garden, walk – even housework. Get them to give you a hand. Feeling wanted makes us all feel better. You don’t have to talk but if you want to, doing something together makes it easier.  James regularly meets up with his friends and they connect over football, watch James’s story about how doing something together (Connecting) is good for your wellbeing.

Keep it real: take it seriously but don’t make it a big deal. Ask them how it’s going. Simple. You don’t need to be an expert, you just need ears. We need to talk about it. It’s easier than you might think.

You don’t need any special skills, you just need to be willing to do it. Here’s what you can do if you think a friend is feeling crap:

  • Ask: how’s its going? Three words that can make a big difference.
  • Keep in touch more: text or email if you can’t meet up.
  • Doing stuff together is as good as a chat: let your mate see that you know they are still the same person.
  • Talk. Swap stories: don’t ignore the difficult stuff if it comes up – you don’t need to solve it, you just need ears.
  • Keep it real: don’t make a big deal of how your mate is feeling but don’t make light of it either.
  • Be there: ask if you can do anything.

Watch out for extremes compared to typical behaviour. This includes mood swings or being Release the pressureunusually angry or aggressive, having no energy or way too much energy, wanting to be alone more and more or wanting to go out more and more or refuelling too much with drink or drugs.  It can happen to anyone. You included.

If you’re worried you’re missing out on life because you’re feeling crap, talk about it. Talk to family, friends, a helpline or other professionals. It doesn’t have to be someone you know.  The NHS have funded free talking therapies in Kent and Medway find out how you can refer yourself into this service here by following the link or you can always ring the 24 Mental Health Matters helpline on 0800 107 0160 or go to our Need Help Now page for more information on 24 hour help and support.

The Mens Health Forum have been working with Time to Change to develop some more information that could help you. Find out more at the links below:


World Blood Donor Day

Blood Donor Day Add to Your Support

Its World Blood Donor day on the 14 June so why not think about becoming a donor. Blood donors are a life-saving team, and your donation is needed. Blood is something we all expect to be there for us when we need it, yet only 4% of us give blood – many people would not be alive today if it wasn’t for the generosity of donors. Most people can give blood, but all donors have to meet the eligibility criteria before their blood is accepted to ensure there’s no risk of us harming you or the patients who will receive it.

In England, around 8,000 blood transfusions are carried out every day. Therefore, the need for blood donations remains high. As blood can only be safely stored for a relatively short time, hospital blood stocks need to be continuously refreshed. For example, red blood cells can only be stored for 35 days and platelets (the part of the blood that helps prevent excessive bleeding) can only be stored for seven days.

In particular, blood donations are needed from black and Asian people because the current levels of black and Asian donors are very low. Certain ethnic groups often require certain blood types, so having a range of donations from a wide range of ethnic groups is a more effective way of meeting the potential demand for blood.

Find out how to donate by following the link: www.blood.co.uk

Do you want to know more about what happens when you donate blood? NHS Choices have some information that can help you, follow the link

Bike Week 2016

Bike Week 2016 Add to Your Support

Bike Week 2016 is taking place between the 11 – 19  June. Bike Week is a great opportunity to promote cycling and show how easy it is to make cycling an everyday part of your life by encouraging ‘everyday cycling for everyone‘. Bike Week highlights how cycling is good for your health, the environment and it can be fun!

The theme of Bike Week 2016 is cycling to work and there are lots of events to promote ‘buddy’ rides or the safest routes to your place of work. You can even sign up for a Be Activeworkplace challenge.

  • So to take part in Bike Week go to: bikeweek.org.uk
  • For cycling routes, free guided bike rides and inspiration to get on your bike go to Explore Kent: explorekent.org
  • Or for free guided cycle routes for all ages and all abilities go to GoSkyRide: www.goskyride.com/kent

Not interested in cycling but looking for other ways to Be Active go to our Six Ways to Wellbeing Be Active page and get inspired.

Mens Health Week 2016

Men’s Health Week 2016 Add to Your Support

Men’s Health Week 2016 is from the 13 – 19 June and will focus on How Do You Beat Stress?  We all get stressed the question is what do you do about it? Stress matters because if we don’t release stress it can turn into something more serious.

Every year one in four of use develops a mental health problem and stress is one of these. There are many ways we can beat stress, exercise, sing, dance, laugh, play or listen to music, paint, write, volunteer, learning something new and lots more.

Release the pressure 2016One of the easiest ways to beat stress is to talk about it.   Talk to your mates, talk to your family and there is always professional help in Kent we have Release the Pressure campaign and 24 hour free helpline: 0800 107 0160 and free NHS Therapy services that you can refer yourself into.

  • To find out more about the Mens Health Forum How Do Beat Stress Campaign go to: www.menshealthforum.org.uk. They have ideas for how you can get involved in their campaign as well as free downloads and resources for you or your organisation.
  • To find out more about Release the Pressure go to: www.releasethepressure.uk
  • To find out where your local free NHS Counselling and Therapy services are in Kent go to: www.liveitwell.org.uk/therapy
Carers Week 2016

Carers Week 2016 Add to Your Support

Carers Week 2016 is running from the 6 – 12 June. Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges that carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

The theme of this years carers week is Carer Friendly Communities. Carer Friendly Communities are places where carers feel supported to look after their family or friends, and recognised as individuals with needs of their own. Carers Week are asking people to recommend organisations, services and employers who are already carer friendly and invite other organisations to use our checklist to commit to becoming carer friendly.

One in eight of us are currently carers looking after an ill, frail or disabled family member or friend. The very nature of caring means very often people don’t at first, or sometimes ever, identify themselves as carers. Rather, they think of themselves simply as wife, husband, son, daughter, mum, dad or perhaps grandparent, niece or nephew helping a loved one.

Without the right help and support caring can have a devastating impact – carers can quickly become cut off with their physical and emotional health, work and, their finances all hit hard.

Carers Week is brought to life by the individuals and organisations who come together to organise activities and events throughout the UK, drawing attention to just how important caring is.

For more information and advice about caring go to Live It Well Carers page.

Dementia Awareness Week 2015

Dementia Awareness Week 2016 Add to Your Support

This years Dementia Awareness Week is happening from 15 – 21 May. Dementia Awareness week wants to raise awareness and understanding of dementia. In 2015 there were 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to 1 million by 2025. One in three people over 65 will develop dementia, and two-thirds of people with dementia are women. The number of people with dementia is increasing because people are living longer.

If you are worried you or someone you know might have dementia, you should first talk to your doctor, or call the Kent Dementia Freephone Helpline – 24 Hour Service on 0800 500 3014. 

The Alzheimer’s society have listed 5 things you should know about dementia

1. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing
2. Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain
3. It’s not just about losing your memory
4. It’s possible to live well with dementia
5. There’s more to a person than the dementia

To get the Alzheimer’s Society Five Things you should know about Dementia full booklet download it at the link.

For more information go to:

Mental Health Awareness Week 2016

Mental Health Awareness Week 16 – 22 May Add to Your Support

It is Mental Health Awareness week from the 16 – 22 May.  The theme for 2016 Mental Health Awareness week is Relationships. Healthy and supportive relationships reduce the risk of mental ill-health. This Mental Health Awareness Week we are focusing on the connections, the relationships, the people in our lives that add to our wellbeing and protect and sustain our mental health. From family and friends, to colleagues and neighbours; taking notice of those connections that make you feel safe and supported.

As well a healthy diet or exercise, strong social networks and connections that improve our mental wellbeing. Mental Health Awareness Week 2016 is all about recognising this, and thanking the people that support you, reaching out to those who you can listen to and help, and campaigning to ensure that decision makers start addressing the barriers that stop people forming such important relationships.

In Mental Health Awareness week why not hold an event to start a conversation and get people thinking about mental health. The Mental Health Foundation have a lot of great ideas as to how you can get people talking, they also have free resources to support your event you can find these here: mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week/get-involved

Connect is one of the Six Ways to Wellbeing for some simple and quick ways to connect and help to build relationships see our quick tips below:

Connect 10 quick tips

Mental Health Awareness Week is being promotion by the Mental Health Foundation to find out more and how to get involved go to: www.mentalhealth.org.uk

For more on why this years theme is relationships go to: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week/why-relationships

Twitter hashtag: #MHAW16.

National Walking Month 2016

National Walking Month May 2016 Add to Your Support

May is National Walking Month. National Walking Month is a campaign to promote the benefits of walking and to get everyone walking, no matter what your level of fitness is.  Walking is simple and free and one of the easiest ways to be more active, lose weight and become healthier.

Living Streets are running the #try20 campaign in national walking month. #try20 is encouraging everyone to walk for 20 minutes every day in May so why not sign up to the pledge and get walking. Walking is the easiest and cheapest way to improve your health.

Take the Living Streets #try20 pledge here: www.livingstreets.org.uk/nwm

For more ideas on how you can get walking in Kent see the links below:

New to walking? NHS Choices has some great advice about how to start walking safely.

National Walking Month is organised by Living Streets and their website has a lots of ideas and free resources for you to access. Find out more by going to: www.livingstreets.org.uk

Mental Health East Kent Survey 2016

Mental Health Survey for East Kent – Have Your Say Add to Your Support

The east Kent mental health commissioning team is keen to involve people in developing its work with mental health and have designed a survey to get your views. The east Kent mental health commissioning team want to hear from you about your priorities for mental health and how these services should look in the future.

The east Kent mental health commissioning team want to know what you really think.

Do you have views about local mental health services? Have you used them? Avoided them but needed them?

You are the experts in what works and what needs to change. The east Kent mental health commissioning team would really like to hear from you to help develop their priorities for the future and improve services.

The east Kent mental health commissioning team is introducing co-production in its work, which means including people affected by mental health issues. They would like to invite you to become involved in this future work by leaving your email address on the survey so the team can contact you.

The east Kent mental health commissioning team would like to hear from you if you:

  • Have experience of local mental health services, or are close to someone who has used these services, for example, a family member.
  • Have not been in touch with mental health services but wanted to be.
  • Are passionate about helping other people to feed in their views and experiences, but do not necessarily have personal experience of mental health difficulties.

The survey can be found here:  www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/EKMHComm

The survey is running until the 31 May 2016, so have your say and get involved.

If you have any questions about the survey, require hard copies or want to know more about the team then please email: ekmentalhealth.commissioning@nhs.net


Mind Ed:Online support for childrens mental health issues Add to Your Support

The new MindEd online resource has been launched to provide information and advice concerning children’s mental health and wellbeing.  The MindEd online resource is for concerned children and their families to seek help and advice.  MindEd directs visitors to sections including ‘risky behaviour’, ‘eating disorders’, ‘sexual orientation and gender’ and ‘being a parent in the digital age’ for expert advice.

Topics on the website include:

  • Should I Be Worried?
  • What To Do In A Crisis
  • Death And Loss (Including Pets)
  • Trauma And Coping
  • Talking To My Child
  • Who Can Help Us?
  • Building Confidence And Resilience
  • Parenting In A Digital World
  • Refusal To Go To School
  • Bullying And What To Do As A Parent
  • Sexual Orientation And Gender
  • Eating Disorders

The website has been developed by the The Department for Education and Department of Health

To go to the MindEd webpage follow the link:  minded.e-lfh.org.uk/families/index.html