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Stoptober-Quit Smoking 2016

Stoptober – Time to quit smoking? Add to Your Support

Each year thousands quit smoking for 28 days with Stoptober starting on 1st October.

By joining in they access a range of free support including email, app and Facebook Messenger – all providing information, advice and daily tips to help them through the month.

Everyone quits together, supported by employers, communities, charities and other partners, as well as encouraging each other via our Facebook page. And by making it to 28 days smokefree, they are five times more likely to quit for good.

So far nearly a million people have signed up.

If you’re thinking about quitting smoking now or want more information about support when you’re ready to quit, there is plenty of advice and expert help available on the Smokefree website.

To sign up to Stoptober follow the link or for other ways of stopping smoking see our information on how to quit smoking and where to get local support go to our Stop Smoking information on Live It Well by following the link.



Adult Autism Strategy Consultation

Consultation on Adult Autism Strategy Add to Your Support

Kent County Council have produced a draft Adult Autism strategy and they want to hear from you. The strategy primarily addresses the needs of adults with autism who do not have a co-occurring learning disability (including people diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome) who live in Kent or are the responsibility of Kent County Council. It mainly focuses on those aged over 18 years but issues relating to young people in transition are also included.

The consultation opened today and is running until the 13 November so have your say go to: kent.gov.uk/autismstrategy 



World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day 2016 Add to Your Support

October 10 is World Mental Health Day 2016.  World Mental Health Day is a global awareness day to raise awareness of mental health issues.  World Mental Health Day gives us all a great opportunity to get talking about mental health and wellbeing.

There are lots of events happening in Kent to support World Mental Health Day so why not get out, get involved and find out more about mental health and wellbeing and all of the great work happening around the county.
There is also the first Kent Mental Health Festival happening on the 11 October which is a great opportunity to celebrate all of the support for mental Kent Mental Health Festival 2016health and wellbeing and to see what is available, or to come along and get involved in a workshop.  To see more about the Kent Mental Health Festival follow the link here.

On World Mental Health Day 10 October if you cannot come to one of the events happening in Kent why not take the opportunity to think about the small things we can all do to make a difference to someone experiencing a mental health problem – like sending a text to a friend or having a cup of tea and chat.

To find out what is happening to celebrate World Mental Health Day in Kent go to our latest listings here. If you are an organisation who is holding an event and want it added to our list please email: info@liveitwell.org.uk.

Time to Change have some free resources and ideas for how to start a conversation about mental health why not order them: See the Time to Change Resources here.

The Mental Health Foundation is encouraging everyone to have a Tea and Talk for World Mental Health Day and they have free resources if you want to organise your own tea and talk day you can download these through the Mental Health Foundation here.

To find out more about World Mental Health Day 2016 follow the link.

List updated 27 September.

Talk to your Family Time to Change

Talking to your child about Mental Health Add to Your Support

Time to Change are encouraging all families to start talking about Mental Health.  If you haven’t spoken about mental health in your family, you’re not alone. Talking mental health with your son or daughter might feel like a tricky topic. But conversations about it come in many forms, and showing you’d be open to that conversation means they will be more likely to come to you should they experience a mental health problem – directly or through seeing a friend go through it. It’s worth bearing in mind that:

  • Simply showing you would be happy to talk is significant
  • Short, informal chats can make a big difference – whenever and wherever they happen
  • There are lots of places you can find out more about mental health

Remember, not knowing things about mental health is OK. Just being available and open to talk about it will almost always help.

To find out how to start the conversation go to Time to Change at the links below:

or to find out about mental health and young people go to:

World's Biggest Coffee Morning

Get Involved in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning Add to Your Support

Get involved in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning for Macmillan this September to help raise funds for people facing cancer.  Macmillan are asking people to host their own coffee mornings to raise funds.  If you want to host your own coffee morning sign up at the link below and Macmillan will send you a kit packed with everything you will need.

There are now 2.5 million people in the UK living with cancer. By 2030, it will be 4 million people, and Macmillan we want to be there for them all.

One in three of us will get cancer, and it will be one of the toughest things we’ll ever have to face. Macmillan’s goal is to make sure no one faces cancer alone. They provide medical, emotional, practical and financial support, as well as campaigning for better cancer care. And because cancer affects more than just those facing it, they are there for friends and family too.

For more about the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning go to: coffee.macmillan.org.uk

To find a coffee morning near you go to: coffee.macmillan.org.uk/about/search

Or to register for your free Coffee Morning kit go to: my.macmillan.org.uk/WBCM/Register


Organic September

Organic September Add to Your Support

Organic September is a campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of organic produce. As part of Organic September the Soil Association are encouraging people to make one small change to your shopping habits in order to make a big difference to sustainable food, animal welfare and the environment. Some of the small changes people could make include switching to organic milk, eggs, apples, choosing an organic moisturiser or even buying an organic cotton t-shirt.

Do you want to get involved and need some inspiration to get started? We have 10 easy suggestions to help you start to be more organic:

  1. Eat at least one piece of organic fruit each day
  2. Switch one beauty product such as shampoo
  3. Sign up for an organic veg box
  4. Shop at your local farmers market
  5. Have an organic cake bake off at work
  6. Buy organic tea & coffee
  7. Plant organic bee-friendly seeds
  8. Take part in #organicbeauty weekend
  9. Buy an organic pair of jeans
  10. Throw an organic dinner party

Being more organic is one of the ways we can Care for the Planet one of the Six Ways to Wellbeing. If you want to see some other ways you can live ‘greener’ go to our Care for the Planet page.

To follow the campaign and to sign up for the 30 Organic tips go to the Soil Assocations website here: www.soilassociation.org

Or to follow the campaign on twitter go to: #organicseptember

NHS Therapy Kent

Free NHS Counselling Get back on Track Add to Your Support

Are you feeling stressed or depressed or anxious? Or struggling with a phobia, eating disorder or addiction? Or if you are looking for someone to help you through a difficult time in life, maybe a friend or relative has died or you’re struggling with fertility of if you have lost your job?

If you answered yes to any of the above why not refer yourself into see a free NHS funded therapist?  There are a range of free NHS funded talking therapists based across Kent and Medway. Talking therapies, sometimes known as counselling can help all sorts of people in many different situations. Talking therapy, or counselling is for anyone who’s going through a bad time or who has emotional problems they are struggling to sort out on their own.

Why talking therapy or counselling may help:

Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger than to relatives or friends. During talking therapy, a trained therapist listens to you and helps you find your own answers to problems, without judging you. The therapist will give you time to talk, cry, shout or just think. It’s an opportunity to look at your problems in a different way with someone who’ll respect and encourage your opinions and the decisions you make.

To find your local free NHS funded talking therapy service go to our NHS Counselling and Therapy page and look up the information in your local area.

NHS Talking Therapies provide counselling and support for common mental health problems; anxiety, low mood, low self-esteem, stress, trauma, phobias and anger, as well as problems with regards to relationships, work or debt.   


Good Mental Health Matters

Good Mental Health Matters Add to Your Support

Good Mental Health Matters is a new website for young people to help with mental health, if you need support or are worried about someone Good Mental Health Matters can help.

Overwhelmed, anxious, under pressure, depressed, vulnerable, fearful of the future, scared of your own emotions or not able to sleep well? You’re not alone. Good Mental health Matters are there to help.

There’s no doubt that certain mental health disorders need proper diagnosis and professional care but, when it comes to keeping stress in check, there is a great deal we can do to protect ourselves and prevent more serious difficulties. 7 common-sense action points can help us take control of our whole wellbeing and develop healthy emotional resilience. Learn to cope with difficult situations, without letting them rule our feelings or damage our mental health. Emotional resilience can be learned, practiced and developed.

For Parents and Carers:

If you are worried about someone there is also advice and support for parents and carers.  Understanding more about what might be going on in your teenager’s head may help you understand certain behaviours and decide how to best respond. Supporting them in the simple strategies outlined here should have a positive effect on the whole family. There is much more help available – visit the website to find out more and get excited about the small changes you can make to promote Good Mental Health.

For more information go to: www.goodmentalhealthmatters.com

Kent Mental Health 2016

The Kent Mental Health Festival 2016 needs you! Add to Your Support

The first Kent Mental Health Festival 2016 is planned for the 11 October at the Leas Cliff Hall and Channel Suite in Folkestone. The festival will be to celebrate mental health and wellbeing and promote the help and support that is available across Kent.  The festival will be open to everyone with stalls and entertainment happening throughout the day.
There will be two festival events one in the daytime between 11am – 4pm this event will have stalls, workshops and talks as well as entertainment and then in the evening from 6.30 onward there is an event planned with music (all timings to be confirmed).

If you want to get involved and be part of the Kent Mental Health festival in any way that you can, and if you have any additional ideas or skills that you could offer to this celebration of mental health and wellbeing please email the organisers at: kentmentalhealthfestival@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.

If you want to book a stall at the Kent Mental Health Festival, please complete the booking form and return it to kentmentalhealthfestival@sanctuary-housing.co.uk. All proceeds will be donated to support Mental Health Crisis Cafes.

The Kent Mental Health Festival 2016 needs you’re help to make this event a success, there are many ways you and your organisation can get involved:

  • Are you interested in having a stall – it could be to promote your services or products?
  • If you want to run a workshop promoting mental health and wellbeing or can give a talk on the day
  • If you run a business that could provide sponsorship to this festival
  • If you are able to provide transport to the event
  • If you want to volunteer as a steward or helper on the day
  • If you can run an event i.e. cake sale or coffee morning to raise funds for the festival
  • If you would like to be filmed and interviewed to promote your service as part of the day

If you want to get involved and be part of the Kent Mental Health festival in any way that you can, and if you have any additional ideas or skills that you could offer to this celebration of mental health and wellbeing please email the organisers at: kentmentalhealthfestival@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.

If you want to book a stall at the Kent Mental Health Festival, please complete the booking form and return it to kentmentalhealthfestival@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.

The next Kent Mental Health Festival working group meeting is at 11am on 30  August at the Dover Council Offices, Maison Dieu House, Biggin Street, Dover, CT16 1DW.



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: