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Safer Internet Day 2016

Safer Internet Day 2016 Add to Your Support

Tuesday 9th February 2016 is Safer Internet Day. The theme of this years Safer Internet Day is:

‘Play your part for a better Internet’

Safer Internet Day sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet. Ultimately, a better internet is up to all of us.

To find out more or to get involved in Safer Internet Day 2016 or to find out how to make the internet safer for your family see the links below:

www.saferinternet.org.uk or join the conversation on twitter at: #SID2016

Sport Relief 2016

Sport Relief 2016 Add to Your Support

Sport Relief is back from the 18th – 20th March 2016 so why don’t you get sponsored and get involved in the Sport Relief games to raise some funds for this great cause? If you can’t take part in the games there are still lots of other ways you can get sponsored and raise money at work, school, with friends or in your local community.

Walk, Run, Swim or Cycle yourself proud at the Sport Relief Games

There are over 1000 events happening all around the country for Sport Relief so choose your sport and get involved:

  • Walk or Run: Grab your trainers and walk or run either 1, 3 or 6 miles at over 450 mile events across the UK
  • Swim: Sign up for a 1.5k, 2.5k or 5k Swimathon, or pick your own distance with our SimplySwim option
  • Cycle: Why not join the 25 or 50-mile Pro Cycle or take the kids on one of our 3-mile Family Cycles?

Find your local Sport Relief games event here: sportrelief.com/events

or if you cannot take part in the Sport Relief Games you can get involved in raising funds for Sport Relief in other ways. The Sport Relief fundraising kit has lots of exciting ideas on how to take part in the fun, at work, individually or with friends and family. From bike rides to bake sales, there are lots of ideas to inspire you and tools to help.

This year’s Sport Relief TV show is on Friday 18th March, from 7pm ‘til late on the BBC.

To get involved in Sport Relief go to the links below:

Wear It Beat It

Wear It Beat It for British Heart Foundation Add to Your Support

Why not get involved in Wear It Beat It day on 5 February by showing your support and wearing red and hosting an event to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation.

One in four people are affected by Heart Disease and it can affect all ages from babies born with life-threatening heart problems to the many Mums, Dads and Grandparents who survive a heart attack and endure the daily battles of heart failure.

So whoever you are doing it for, and whatever you decide to wear, you can get involved in your workplace, school or with friends and family.

The British Heart Foundation have loads of ideas to help get you started.

So why not wear red and organise an event on 6 February and join the British Heart Foundation’s fight against heart and circulatory disease.

When you sign up we will be able to download our fundraising kit full of fun ideas to hold a successful event and raise money towards our fight.

Time to Talk Day 2016

Get Ready for Time to Talk Day Add to Your Support

Get ready for Time to Talk Day, this years Time to Talk Day will be on Thursday 4th February 2016. The aim of Time to Talk Day is to get as many people as possible across England talking about mental health. Join in and let’s get the nation talking about mental health to help end the misconceptions and stigma surrounding it. Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people every year, yet too often people are afraid to talk about their experiences because they fear it will affect their jobs or relationships. That’s not right and it’s why we need your help to break the silence and end the stigma!

By joining together on Time to Talk Day, we can break the silence that often surrounds mental health, and show that talking about this once-taboo issue doesn’t need to be difficult. With tens of thousands of individuals and hundreds of organisations speaking out together at the same time, we can make a huge impact and show that it really is time to talk!

Talking about mental health doesn’t need to be difficult, order your Time to Talk Day pack and resources for everything you need to take part on the day. Packs and information available include:

  • Friends and Family Pack
  • Schools pack
  • Take part at work or
  • Community pack

Even if you cannot hold an event you can get involved in Time to Talk day online by using social media.

For suggestions, ideas and how to order free resources and packs go to: www.time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday

For downloadable postcards, bunting and posters go to: www.time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday-resources

To find out more about the Time to Change campaign go to: www.time-to-change.org.uk

Change 4 Life Sugar Smart

Get Sugar Smart with Change 4 Life Add to Your Support

Do you know how much sugar your family is consuming? Very few of us do so why not get Sugar Smart with Change 4 Life and have a healthier start to 2016.
Change 4 Life Sugar Smart is a great way to change how your family eat and drink. We are all having too much added sugar, our kids might seem fine on the outside, but too much sugar can cause tooth decay and lead to the build-up of harmful fat on the inside that we can’t see. This fat around their vital organs can cause serious disease in the future, so why not make the change now and make your family healthier.

If you sign up for the Sugar Smart campaign you will get a free pack to help you get started. The pack if filled with hints, tips and recipe suggestions designed to help parents cut down the sugary foods and drinks consumed by their children, plus money-off vouchers, swap cards and stickers. All you need to do to receive this is register on the website.

The Change 4 Life Sugar Smart website also is a great place to find out more about the hidden sugar in food and what you can do to cut back on your sugar consumption. You can also download the free Sugar Smart Ap which enables you to scan barcodes to see how much hidden sugar is in food, try it on what you have already in your cupboards, you may be surprised at the results.

For more information, help and advice or to download the free Ap go to: nhs.uk/change4life-beta/campaigns/sugar-smart/home

Free Debt Help and Advice

Free Debt Help and Advice Add to Your Support

We all want the best Christmas possible but sometimes the costs involved mean that you can stretch your finances too far.  If you are experiencing money problems and are worried about what happens when the bills arrive in January maybe it’s time to get some professional debt help and advice. Debt can be a big problem, and it is normal to feel worried and anxious about debt and financial issues. Remember though that NO debt problem no matter how big is unsolvable. When debt builds up so does stress and anxiety levels, so Live It Well have information on free and impartial help and advice that is available to help you get out of debt. There is no need to pay for debt advice.

All of the debt help and advice listed on Live It Well is free.

You can find your local free debt help by using our database (at the top of the column on the right) called: Search for Local Support and Help.

Under the Help With What? section choose the Money and Debt box and then under the Where Are you? Section choose the area of Kent or Medway that you live it. All of the debt help listed on Live It Well is free.

There is free debt help and advice out there, please ask for support and take control of your debts in 2016.

Live It Well has a more information on Money and Debt and you can see this by following the link.

Walking for health

Walking for Health Add to Your Support

Want to get fit in 2016?  Don’t want to join a gym but would like to enjoy the outdoors and meet new people when why not try walking? Walking for Health are organised walks for people of all abilities available all over Kent.  If you find it difficult to get active, why not start walking? It’s really easy to get started, you don’t need any special equipment – and best of all it counts towards your recommended amount of physical activity.

Walking can improve your health, your happiness and, if you join one of our groups, it will give you the chance to Be Active to explore the outdoors and Take Notice & Connect with your local area and meet new people.

To find out more about Walking for Health follow the link: www.walkingforhealth.org.uk

To find your local Walking for Health scheme follow this link and put in your postcode: www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder

The video below highlights just a few of the benefits that thousands of people across the country get from walking.

Kent Transformation Plan

The Kent Transformation Plan for Children, Young People and Young Adults Add to Your Support

The Kent Transformation Plan for Children, Young People and Young Adults has just been published. The Kent Transformation Plan was developed with children, young people, professionals and partners who have been working locally and across CCGs to deal with the challenging issues of mental health and wellbeing.

Local and county-wide needs have been examined and provision and good practice and have developed and designed for a whole-system for Kent which puts children, young people and young adults at the heart of services.

The key areas of transformation within our plans are to

  • Increase the role of Universal services: To challenge stigma and deliver good emotional wellbeing at every opportunity
  • Investment in early intervention to ensure that children and young people are able to access the right service at the right time
  • Delivering services and support from birth to 25: This will ensure that support is no longer changes at age of 18 but responds to the individual needs of a young person as they follow their own unique path to adulthood
  • Meeting the needs of vulnerable young populations
  • Improving access to emotional and mental health problems occurring during childhood and adolescence

To read more about the Kent Transformation Plan for Children, Young People and Young Adults and to access the plan follow the link.

Dry January 2015

Dry January Add to Your Support

Why not do the Dry January challenge and give up alcohol for the 31 days in January? Dry January is all about being able to go to that party, captain the pub quiz team, head off on that long weekend…. but to be able to do it alcohol free!

‘Feel better. Save money. Make a difference’

When people ask why you aren’t drinking, you can bring them into the challenge as well! Many participants in the previous Dry January events expressed surprise at just how difficult the challenge is. Many have had the realisation that those casual drinks with friends and after-work pints are amounting to more than they had initially realised. But a month without alcohol gives you the chance to think about the way you drink and create some good habits to last you a lifetime.

Find out more, get involved and sign up at Dry January. You can also find out more on the Dry January Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/DryJanuary.

If having a dry January makes you think you are experiencing problems with alcohol go to our Live It Well Alcohol page to get some hints and tips for getting help.

A lot of people don’t know what units actually mean in terms of what they drink – and therefore don’t know when they’re drinking too much! Why don’t you test how much alcohol you are consuming by using the online ‘Know Your Score’ tool or alternatively you could try using the alcohol demotivator – you may be very surprised at the results!

For more about Dry January follow the links below:

Health Help Now 2015

Have you downloaded Health Help Now? Add to Your Support

Health Help Now is an app and website that helps people find the best place for treatment for common symptoms. It shows which services are open and where they are. It can help people find out if they need to see a doctor, pharmacist or use a minor injuries service.

Health Help Now is for everybody – you, your children, your parents, your neighbours. And we need your help to spread the message so that even more people can find the right treatment. You know how much pressure the A&Es and general practices are under. Health Help Now gives people the opportunity to make better decisions about where to get treatment so why don’t you download it over Christmas?

Health Help Now has advice for people of all ages. All you need to do is put in your symptoms, age bracket and postcode and let Health Help Now do the rest. You might even find a pharmacy you didn’t know was open late, or advice on a symptom you thought you knew how best to treat.

The award-winning website – healthhelpnow-nhs.net – was developed by clinicians and health managers in Kent, for the people of Kent and is also available as a free downloadable app for Apple and Android devices. Health Help Now has been used more than 85,000 times since its launch but it can only continue to be successful with your help. You can download it to your phone by following these easy instructionsOnce downloaded, why not tell your friends and family about it?

Downloading the app means you can:

  • Use the health wallet to make notes about symptoms or questions for your GP.
  • Keep a list of health appointments and contacts.
  • Save favourite pages from Health Help Now and view other useful apps.

To find out more about Health Help now go to: kent.healthhelpnow-nhs.net.

Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year 2016! Add to Your Support

Live It Well want to wish you a happy new year 2016!

Why not start the year spreading wellbeing by taking up our 16 suggestions to wellbeing an kindness so you can be the best you can be and spread some smiles and best wishes in 2016.  All of our suggestions are easy and free to do, pick one, some or all and spread some positive thoughts all around.

  1. Gratitude Jar Create a New Year’s tradition. On the first day of the new year, start a Year of Gratitude Jar. Throughout the year, fill up the box with: compliments you received, thank you notes, moments of kindness you witnessed, acts of kindness you did, inspiring quotes, etc. Then after the year is over, review the contents!
  2. Smile: According to an article from Psychology Today, “Each time you smile, you throw a little feel-good party in your brain. The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits your health and happiness.”
  3. Create a Gratitude Journal: “A five-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 percent. That’s the same impact as doubling your income!”
  4. Three Compliments: Each day, compliment the first three people you talk to.
  5. Send a Letter to Your Future Self: Go to futureme.org and write yourself a letter. Pick a date in the future… a week from now, a month from now, even ten years from now and write an encouraging note to yourself. The site will send you your letter on the date you specify. Congratulate yourself on losing weight or finishing that homework assignment. Tell yourself that everything is going to be ok. Remind yourself that you are awesome and you make this world a better place just by being you.
  6. Set a Kindness Reminder: Schedule a daily kindness reminder on your phone. When it goes off, think of a random person. Then, send them a positive message (text, email, social media post, phone call, letter, etc.)
  7. 52 Thank You Notes: Express your gratitude for the people in your life, write one thank you note every week to a different person: Need a quick thank-you note format? Check out The Five Minute Thank You Note.
  8. A Kind Twist on Happy Hour: Invite a group of people you know (friends, family, co-workers) to the happiest of happy hours and spend one hour doing acts of kindness for others. Need ideas? Check out this list of 50 Pay-It-Forward Ideas.
  9. Positive Sticky Notes: Carry a stack of positive sticky notes with you wherever you go. Post them when you’re somewhere that needs a little bit more kindness.
  10. Morning Kindness: Before you get out of bed, focus on kindness. Think of a kind motto for your day or text a positive good morning note to a friend.
  11. Volunteer: Each year, think of one cause you care about or a group in your community that could use some help. Schedule a day on your calendar to volunteer or help that cause find out how to Give here.
  12. Beautify Your Surroundings: Spend 10 minutes picking up litter in your neighborhood, park or other commonly visited locations.
  13. Kind Body Image: Place positive body image sticky notes on dressing room mirrors.
  14. Coupon Fairy: Save unused/unwanted coupons and put them next to relevant products next time you’re at the grocery store
  15. Self-Kindness: Do one kind thing every week for yourself. Enjoy a treat you love, exercise, eat a healthy meal, or do something you love and rarely have time to do.
  16. Be Kind to the Earth: Research ways to be kind to the environment and reduce your carbon footprint. Here are some of our Care for the Planet ideas to get you started.

Most of all with whatever you do Live It Well wants you to have a great 2016. 



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.   


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:

Festival of Winter Walks

Festival of Winter Walks Add to Your Support

The Ramblers are holding a Festival of Winter Walks over the festive season (19 December – 3 January).  So why don’t you take a walk in a winter wonderland this festive season, the Ramblers Association have hundreds of freegroup walks to choose from. So whether you want a short stroll to burn off the Christmas dinner or a heartier ramble to kick-start your new year’s resolution, they have got something for you.

So get your friends or family together, wrap up warm, and take in Christmas markets and carol singers, tread through winter forests or roam over snow-covered hills. The Festival of Winter Walks is open to everyone. There are short fun walks that children will love; leisurely strolls for people new to walking; and longer walks for those that want a good leg-stretch over the Christmas break.

So put on your hat and scarf and join the Ramblers as they head out into the crisp, clear winter to enjoy the season.

Find your own winter walk

You can also find your own winter walk with Ramblers Routes – an online library of 2,000 walking routes. You can find everything from coastal meanders to more strenuous hill climbs, with printable, easy-to-read maps and simple route directions.

Happy Christmas 2014

Happy Christmas from Live It Well Add to Your Support

Live It Well hope you have a safe and happy Christmas but just in case you’re finding it difficult to cope with the festive season we are reminding you that Mental Health Matters is a free helpline offering confidential emotional support and guidance for people in Kent and Medway. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, on 0800 107 0160 and staff are trained in counselling skills, so can offer support over the phone. They also have details of local and national services if people want more support.

The Samaritans are also there providing confidential emotional support, for anyone feeling down, depressed or anxious. Volunteers can be contacted 24 hours a day by phone on 08457 90 90 90, or you can email jo@samaritans.org or you can arrange for a face to face visit through their website, click here to find out about the details of your local branch.

Another great way of keeping well is the Six Ways to Wellbeing, little things that everyone can do to help them cope with difficult times and get more out of life at Christmas and all year round, click here to see more about the Six Ways to Wellbeing.

If you want some free therapy you can refer yourself into the free NHS Talking Therapy services in Kent and Medway.  You can find information about the Free Counselling and Therapy Services here.