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Love Parks Week 2014

Love Parks Week 2014 Add to Your Support

Love Parks Week is running from the 25 July to – 3 August to encourage you to visit, enjoy and take pride in your local parks and green spaces, because parks and green spaces are essential to healthy, happy and strong communities.

Kent has more than 200 parks and open spaces, from lazy riverbanks to action packed play areas, find a corner of greenery near you. Most of the Love Parks week events are free so it’s a great start to the school holidays for families.

And while you’re in the Park why not take a photo of it and enter our Feel Good competition find out more at the link.

Loving parks and open spaces supports our Six Ways to Wellbeing Campaign by: Being Active, Keep Learning (about the park and wildlife), Connecting (with others), Taking Notice and by supporting the park and environment Care for the planet so you will have it hit six of your five a day!

Here are Ten more Park Facts…

  1. 91% of people believe that public parks and open spaces improve their quality of life.
  2. A brisk walk every day, in your local park, can reduce the risk of heart attacks by 50%, strokes by 50%, diabetes by 50%, fracture of the femur by 30%, colon cancer by 30%, breast cancer by 30% and Alzheimer’s by 25%.
  3. Air quality, air temperature, water and flood management, are all kept within manageable limits because of parks and green spaces.
  4. The more often a person visits urban open green spaces, the less often he or she will report stress-related illnesses.
  5. Outdoor play and adventure can increase levels of physical activity and fitness, activate higher cognitive processes and healthy brain development.
  6. Elderly people who have close access to a place where they can relax and enjoy nature, show significantly greater satisfaction with where they live.
  7. The number one ranked issue for good parks and public spaces is that they give a sense of community.
  8. Owners of small companies rank recreation, parks and open spaces as the highest priority in choosing a new location for their business.
  9. Over 10% of the population choose to use their local green spaces daily.
  10. Over 50% of us visit a park at least once a week, to improve physical – and mental – health, to enhance our closest relationships, to chill out, to interact with our communities and to have a good time.

To find out more go to Love Parks Week: www.loveparksweek.org

To find out about the Parks and Green Spaces in Kent follow this link: www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/parks-and-outdoor-activities

To search for events in Love Parks week follow the link:  http://www.loveparksweek.org/content/whats

 

 

Thanet Feel Good Photo Competition 2014

Feel Good Photo Competition Add to Your Support

Share a photo of Kent that makes you feel good and get the chance to win a year’s worth of inspiring views! 

Kent County Council’s Six Ways to Wellbeing campaign is offering an annual pass to all nine of its Country Parks.  So whether you’re visiting Pegwell Bay, Lullingstone or Shorne Woods, you can park at these – and six others – for free.

So while your getting out and about this summer why not send us a photo of a Kent that makes you feel good.   It could be a view of your favourite street or building, a snapshot of hills and fields or a glimpse of the sea.

Take your photo, tell us where you’ve taken it and, if you want to, why it makes you happy.  Then send it to mentalwellbeing@kent.gov.uk by midnight of Sunday 31 August 2014.

Between now and then we’ll be creating a Feel Good Gallery on our Facebook page and a gallery on the Live It Well Website featuring a selection of the photos we receive.

The overall winner will be announced by Friday 3 October 2014.

By taking and sharing your photos you’ll be boosting your own wellbeing, and other people’s, in several ways:

  • by pausing to look at your surroundings, you’re taking notice
  • by sharing your favourite views you’re giving to others
  • and if your special corner of Kent is unfamiliar to your audience, they’ll be learning as well!

For full terms and conditions follow the link.

Having a stroll around one of Kent’s country parks is a great way to boost your wellbeing.  You’re being active and taking notice at the same time.  Want to find out more about the green spaces near you?  Go to Kent County Council’s County Parks Website by following the link: http://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/parks-and-outdoor-activities/find-a-park

Walking for health

Walking for Health Add to Your Support

Ever feel like it’d be nice to get out and about more often? Get a little more fresh air in your lungs? Be a bit more active? Lots of us wish we did more exercise. We know it’s good for us. And we know our health’s important. But it can be easy to find excuses for not actually getting out there and doing it:

  • The gym is boring / intimidating / expensive.
  • There’s not enough time.
  • My knee / back / hip isn’t up to it these days.
  • It’s no fun.

Sound familiar?

Walking works
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.

Free Wellbeing Podcasts

Free audio podcasts to help you relax and improve your wellbeing Add to Your Support

There are some great free audio podcasts available to help you relax and to help your wellbeing and help boost your mood.   Live It Well have pulled together a selection of the most NHS Choices free podcasts for you. You can pick and choose which of these mental wellbeing audio guides you want to listen to, or you can listen to them all. Each audio guide takes on a different aspect of your mental wellbeing and gives you some simple, common sense advice on what you might do to boost your mood.

NHS Choices Moodzone have even more free podcasts available, you can get these free audio guides by following the link.

10 Minute Shake Up Change 4 Life

Get Ready for a 10 Minute Shake Up Add to Your Support

Now is the time to get ready for this summers 10 minute shake up! Change 4 Life are launching 10 minute shake ups to get your kid’s moving and active this summer. The 10 Minute Shake Up games, with a touch of Disney magic, are a fantastic way 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, 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

http://www.nhs.uk/change4life/Pages/change-for-life.aspx

Want more about Change for Life?

Healthy and Happier ideas for your family.

Smart Food Swaps

 

 

 

 

Sky ride Cycling Kent

Sky Rides Free Cycling events in Kent Add to Your Support

Sky Rides are big, fun events which take over a town or city centre so lots of cyclists of all ages and abilities can ride safely together on a traffic-free route. They’re a great day out for families, with loads to do both on and off a bike. You’re sure to find the one that’s right for you. What’s more, registration and taking part are entirely free.

Kent is a great place to cycle, and now there are even more opportunities to get out and about on your bike in the area. Each event is packed with activities for you both on and off your bike. And there’s no need to worry about diesel fumes and boy racers to spoil the enjoyment. On the day, the only engines allowed are your heart and lungs enjoying a day out in the fresh air.  Cycling is a great way to Be Active one one of the Six Ways to Wellbeing.

So, evict the spiders from your old rusty Raleigh. Rinse out your Rapha Team Sky replica kit.  Get involved with Sky Ride. Wherever you are, it’s fun for you, your family and even your whole community.

Find out more about Sky Rides in Kent here: http://www.goskyride.com/kent

Find out more about cycling in Kent here:  http://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/parks-and-outdoor-activities/cycling

Find out more about the Six Ways to Wellbeing here.

http://youtu.be/1c0KKgSgyHo

 

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 unusually 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 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 from landlines or 0300 330 5486 for mobiles 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:

 

Photo Competition 2014

Feel Good Photo Competition Add to Your Support

Share a photo of Kent that makes you feel good and get the chance to win a year’s worth of inspiring views!

Kent County Council’s Six Ways to Wellbeing campaign is offering an annual pass to all nine of its Country Parks.  So whether you’re visiting Pegwell Bay, Lullingstone or Shorne Woods, you can park at these – and six others – for free.

Just send a photo of a part of Kent that makes you feel good.   It could be a view of your favourite street or building, a snapshot of hills and fields or a glimpse of the sea.

Take your photo, tell us where you’ve taken it and, if you want to, why it makes you happy.  Then send it to mentalwellbeing@kent.gov.uk by midnight of Sunday 31 August 2014.

Between now and then we’ll be creating a Feel Good Gallery on our Facebook page and a gallery on the Live It Well Website featuring a selection of the photos we receive.

The overall winner will be announced by Friday 3 October 2014.

By taking and sharing your photos you’ll be boosting your own wellbeing, and other people’s, in several ways:

  • by pausing to look at your surroundings, you’re taking notice
  • by sharing your favourite views you’re giving to others
  • and if your special corner of Kent is unfamiliar to your audience, they’ll be learning as well!

For full terms and conditions follow the link.

Having a stroll around one of Kent’s country parks is a great way to boost your wellbeing.  You’re being active and taking notice at the same time.  Want to find out more about the green spaces near you?  Go to Kent County Council’s County Parks Website by following the link: http://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/parks-and-outdoor-activities/find-a-park

Get Sun Safe

Get Sun Safe Add to Your Support

As summer is now upon us its time to think about how to get Sun Safe! Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, and too much sun can increase your risk. Exposure to sunlight can also affect your eyes.

In 2010, around 100,000 people were diagnosed with skin cancer in the UK. More than 12,000 of these cancers were malignant melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. Each year, around 2,200 people die from skin cancer.
Skin cancers are caused by damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Protecting the skin from the sun can help prevent these cancers.

How does the sun damage skin?
UV rays penetrate deep into the skin and damage cells. These cells are then at risk of becoming cancerous. You can’t feel UV damaging your skin and it happens even when the sun doesn’t feel hot.
Getting sunburnt causes the top layers of skin to release chemicals that make blood vessels swell and leak fluids. Skin turns red and feels hot and painful, and severe sunburn can lead to swelling and blisters.
Who’s at risk?
Skin cancer can affect anyone, but people most at risk have:

  • fair skin that burns in strong sun
  • red or fair hair
  • a lot of moles or freckles
  • a personal or family history of skin cancer
  • already had sunburn, especially when young

People with naturally brown or black skin are less likely to get skin cancer as darker skin has some protection against UV rays. However, skin cancer can still occur.

NHS Choices has some great online advice about how to stay sun safe – click on the relevant link below:

Summer health video wall

Go to NHS Choices homepage

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.

 

 

Eat 4 Cheap NHS Choices

Eat 4 Cheap Add to Your Support

NHS Choices have launched Eat 4 Cheap and the Eat 4 Cheap Challenge so you can find out how you save money off of your food shopping bill and still eat a healthy diet. Eat4Cheap aims to show that healthy eating doesn’t have to cost the earth – in fact, with a few simple tips, you can save money. From cutting down on takeaways to choosing cheaper brands and reducing waste, households could save thousands of pounds a year on food.

The Eat4Cheap challenge

The Eat 4 Cheap challenge asks people to see how much they can save over a week and share how they did it on the NHS Choices Healthy Eating community. The Healthy Eating community is there for all things relating to healthy eating on a budget, including money-saving tips and healthy recipes.

So how can you save money and still eat better? 

  • Write a shopping list and stick to it.
  • Waste nothing, reuse leftovers.
  • Stop buying brand food
  • Have a meat free Monday
  • Buy cheaper cuts of meat
  • Eat smaller portions

For more great ideas about saving money on food go to the NHS Choices eat well for less page.

To find out more about Eat 4 Cheap follow the link.

Live It Well have more information on healthy eating follow the link to find out more.

 

 

Adult Learners' Week 2014

Adult Learners’ Week 2014 Add to Your Support

Adult Learners’ Week 2014 is taking place between the 14 – 22 June. Adult Learners’ Week is a national celebration of the benefits of lifelong learning and an opportunity to explore the many types of learning available to adults. It is the chance to find out how flexible and interesting learning as an adult can be and to discover how learning can change your life. A chance to improve skills, try something new and have fun.

Keep Learning is one of the Six Ways to Wellbeing and its about trying something new or rediscovering an old hobby. It could be taking up a course or even learning a new recipe or reading a part of the newspaper you don’t usually look at.  You can set small challenges to Keep Learning it will make you more confident, as well as being fun to do. Find out how Keith is learning by caring for his mum at Keep Learning Six Ways to Wellbeing and what other people in Kent are doing to Keep Learning.

There are a lot of Adults Learners’ Week events happening in libraries, not only taster sessions but talks and workshops so why not pop down to your local library and see what is happening too!

 

Bike Week 2014

Bike Week 2014 Add to Your Support

It’s Bike Week from the 14 – 22 June and this year’s theme is Everyday Cycling for Everyone. Bike Week is an opportunity to promote cycling, and show how cycling can easily be part of everyday life by encouraging ‘everyday cycling for everyone’. This year’s Bike Week will be staged 14-22nd June 2014, and there are events happening all over Kent.

Cycling is a great way to Be Active, one of the Six Ways to Wellbeing so Live It Well is supporting Bike Week as it aims to get people to give cycling a go all over the UK, whether this be for fun, as a means of getting around to the local shops, school, the library or just to visit friends. So why not get on your bike?

To find out more follow the links below:

For more about Bike Weekhttp://bikeweek.org.uk

Find out what Bike Week events are happening in Kent and Medway.

Find out more about Be Active and the Six Ways to Wellbeing.

Looking to find out more about cycling in Kent? Visit Kent is a great place to get started.

To look for a cycle route, or cycling club in Kent follow the link.

Or to look for a cycle route, or cycling club in Medway follow this link.

Carers Week 2014

Carers Week 2014 Add to Your Support

Carers Week 2014 is running from the 9 – 14 June. Carers Week is a UK-wide annual awareness campaign. Its aim is to improve the lives of carers and the people they care for. Carers Week raises awareness of carers and there are plenty of opportunities and event in Kent and Medway to find out more about the caring and the support that you can receive.

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.

There are a lot of events in Kent and Medway that are running next week to support Carers Week where you can find out about caring and get information, advice, support and help.

 

Mens Health Week 2014

Men’s Health Week 2014 Add to Your Support

Mens Health Week 2014 is being held from the 9 – 15 June and the focus this year is on health, work stress and unemployment.

So why the focus this year on work and health?

Male identity is strongly tied up with work and earning a living. This means that health at work can be doubly important for men. Perhaps men take their work too seriously and their health not seriously enough? Studies have suggested longer working hours lead to stress, anxiety and depression. Also if you are unemployed this too can cause depression and other mental health issues as well affecting your relationships and identity.

Men’s Health Week is as a much-needed opportunity to raise awareness of these issues, challenging employers and health workers to take action, and helping men to talk about how they’re feeling.

  • If you are experiencing problems mentioned above with work or unemployment and need to talk to someone go to our NHS Talking Therapies (Therapy and Counselling) page where you can find out how to refer yourself into free therapy and counselling help.
  • Live It Well also has advice and support on work and employment you can find this information by following the link.
  • If you are experiencing money or debt issues find out how to get free debt help and advice here.

Kent Sheds is a new project providing places for people to come together to pursue hobbies and interests, share their knowledge and skills and develop new friendships. To find out more about Kent Sheds and how you can get involved follow the link.

The Parkwood project is an example of a Kent Shed

NHS Choices also have additional help and support for men follow the relevant link below:

Mens Health Week is organised by the Mens Health Forum follow the link to find out more about the work that they do.

 

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