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Safer Internet Day 2017

Safer Internet Day 2017 Add to Your Support

Safer Internet Day 2017 will take place on Tuesday 7 February with the theme ‘Be the change: unite for a better internet’.

Safer Internet Day is coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre and sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. The UK Safer Internet Centre provides resources for children, schools and families, and tools for getting involved at www.saferinternetday.org.uk.

Why not join in with Safer Internet Day supporters across the globe, on Tuesday 7 February 2017 to be the change and unite for a better internet!



Get Ready for Time to Talk Day 2017 Add to Your Support

Get ready for Time to Talk Day, the next Time to Talk Day will be on Thursday 2 February 2017. 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 work Time to Change are doing to challenge attitudes about mental health go to: www.time-to-change.org.uk

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 to access. if you need help please ask.

You can find your local free debt help by using our search box (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, then press search. All of the debt help listed on Live It Well is free to access.

There is free debt help and advice out there, please ask for support and take control of your debts in 2017.

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

JanUary 2017

Do something good for ‘U’ this JanUary Add to Your Support

The JanUary campaign is running from 9 – 15 January 2017 and it is asking the UK to join in a national New Year’s resolution to help improve the nation’s health. Whether it’s cooking more healthily, avoiding snacks, or being a little more physically active, join in and make your healthy New Year’s resolution now!

Most of us can be a little bit healthier. Whether it’s making changes to what we eat, drinking more water, or being a bit more physically active. There are relatively small but manageable and sustainable changes we can all make to improve our long-term health.

It’s something we all need to think about. Not only can we improve our health, and that of our families and friends, we can reduce the demands on our hospitals and health services.

And that’s what JanUary’s about: promoting the ways in which we, government and businesses can improve our health and that of the UK as a whole, and providing the information and resources that can bring about long-term positive change. It’s not about making some major change that you’ll struggle to stick to. It’s about doing something sustainable that’ll help you in the long-term.

The JanUary campaign is asking people to make a national New Year’s resolution to help improve the nation’s health. Whether it’s cooking more healthily, avoiding snacks, or being a little more physically active, join in and make your healthy New Year’s resolution now!

You can look at the JanUary campaign website here: www.jan-u-ary.co.uk

To download your supporters pack, please go to: www.jan-u-ary.co.uk/get-involved/make-resolution






Stay Warm and Well this Winter

Stay Warm and Well this Winter Add to Your Support

It is already feeling like winter is here, so maybe it is time to get ready for winter by preparing your home for when the cold really begins to bite. Cold homes have a significant impact on people’s health. One of the best ways of keeping yourself well during winter is to stay warm.
Keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

How to stay warm

NHS Choices has some information on how to get ready for the winter key tips include:

  • Keep your home warm. Your main living room should be between around 18-21C (65-70F) and the rest of the house at a minimum of 16C (61F). You can also use a hot-water bottle or electric blanket (but not both at the same time) to keep warm while you’re in bed.
  • Eat well. Food is a vital source of energy, which helps to keep your body warm. Try to make sure that you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep active in the home if you can.
  • Wrap up warm, inside and out. Layer your clothing to stay warm and wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside. If possible, stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or respiratory problems.
  • Stay active. Exercise can keep you warm in the winter, even moderate exercise can bring health benefits. As a minimum try not to still for over an hour.
  • Check on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they’re safe and well. Make sure they’re warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather. If you’re worried about a relative or an elderly neighbour, contact your local council or ring the Age UK helpline on 0800 00 99 66.

If you are over 65 Age UK have published a guide called Winter Wrapped Up which is full of handy hints and tips for preparing as well as dealing with winter click here to see this guide. To see more go to the Age UK website by clicking on the following link: www.ageuk.org.uk

NHS Choices also has a lot of information about staying well and preparing for the winter, click here to go to the NHS Choices winter health information.

Kent FA Football Opportunities

Kent FA Football Opportunities Add to Your Support

The Kent FA have some new opportunities for more people to get involved in football. Football is a great way to build confidence, get fit and meet new people, there are lots of opportunities to get involved these include:

Kent FA Mental Health Football League

The Kent FA are currently looking for teams to enter a new Mental Health football league. This will help to provide players with mental health conditions with more regular localised football competition as opposed to one off events. Why not get involved and rebuild confidence, meet new people and take part in regular structured football activity.

If you haven’t got a team there are also numerous sessions around the County where you can get involved in.

Kent FA want to hear from individuals, organisations or teams that wish to join the league. For further information contact: lauren.cundy@kentfa.com

Walking football

If you are less mobile but still want to be involved in football why not try walking football?  Walking football enables you to rediscover the joy of playing football at an easier pace. Walking Football has incredible social benefits for the casual participant. It is an opportunity to meet new people, to be part of a group, and to rekindle a sense of camaraderie within a team environment. Walking football can build confidence, develop friendships, and encourages social opportunities .

There are walking football sessions available all over Kent for more information go to: www.walkingfootballunited.co.uk/kent. For more information see the poster here.

Disability Football

Kent FA run disability football at the Kent FA disability centre every Tuesday night at Strood Sports Centre – Football pay and play (£3 per session) sessions for all players aged six to adults with any disability, impairment or long term condition. This is on every Tuesday 6.30 – 7.30 pm at Strood Sports Centre

For more information see the poster or email gfcct@priestfield.com or call 01634 350125 website: www.gfcommunitytrust.com or see the poster here.

For more information aout any of these opportunities email: lauren.cundy@kentfa.com

Or go to: www.kentfa.com/players/disability-football


Dry January 2017 Add to Your Support

Why not do the Dry January challenge and give up alcohol for the 31 days in January? Taking part in Dry January gives us time to think about  our realtionship with alcohol and recent reports say that if you abstain for a month you will drink less alcohol afterards. Why take part in Dry january? Well a month off alcohol can make a real difference – just some of the benefits people have experienced are:

  • Weight loss
  • Better sleep
  • More energy
  • Clearer skin
  • Time – no more hangovers to sleep off!
  • The sense of achievement for finishing your month
  • The realisation that you’re actually just as awesome without the alcohol

And think of all the money you’ll save (the average person spends £50,000 on booze in their lifetime!)

It’s a pretty impressive list, but you’re not just doing some good for yourself, you’re part of a movement of millions of people looking to improve the lives of those around them too. You’re helping to create a culture of happiness, confidence and health that achieves far more good than just the break from booze.

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 NHS Choices has an ap that helps you keep track of your alcohol intake as well as a lot of other advice and information: www.nhs.uk/livewell/alcohol/Pages/Alcoholhome.aspx

For more about Dry January follow the link below:


Get walking Britain! 2017 Festival of Winter Walks Add to Your Support

The Festival of Winter Walks has been run by the Ramblers Association for over 25 years, this years festival is running from the 17 December 2016 to Sunday 8 January 2017. The Festival of Winter Walks is an opportunity to get more people walking and exploring Britain’s wintry landscapes. So why don’t you take a walk in a winter wonderland this festive season?

Walking makes you feel happier and healthier, and we think everyone should enjoy the benefits. Which is why the Ramblers Association want to get Britain on its feet. So join a walk, invite your friends and help us get everyone, everywhere to discover the joys of walking.

The Ramblers Association have listings of hundreds of free, group 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 as 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.

It’s as easy as…

  1. Register to find walks, routes and festival activites near you
  2. Log your walks and invite your friends to get involved
  3. Earn badges and win prizes!

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

For more about the Festival of Winter Walks go to: www.ramblers.org.uk/walkabout

Or to find local health walk go to: www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder


Views sought on Tier 4 CAMHs Add to Your Support

NHS England want views on the Tier 4 CAMH services that they provide. To do this they have launched a public consultation on five service specifications for CAMHs (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services) Tier 4 provision as part of their service review programme.

NHS England are asking for views on the following service specifications:

  • Child and Adolescent Medium Secure
  • Child and Adolescent Low Secure
  • Child and Adolescent Forensic Outreach
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (PICU)
  • CAMHS T4 General Adolescent

NHS England have developed their specifications with the support of lead clinicians and patient and public representatives.  In addition to giving your views on these specifications NHS England will be hosting a series of webinars and face to face events in the New Year and they will share the dates and times once they have been confirmed.

The new specifications once finalised will play an important part in work to reconfigure services to ensure improvements in local overall pathway integration, improvements in local access and reductions in travel times and out of area placements.

To find out more and to have your say go to: www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/camhs

The consultation will close on the 28 February 2017.


How to take the stress out of Christmas Add to Your Support

Live It Well have collected some handy hints and tips to help you make the most out of Christmas and for it to be as stress free and happy as possible.

Firstly it is best to prepare. Leaving all your preparations for Christmas until the last minute can cause unnecessary stress, but planning ahead can save you time and money. Making lists for jobs to do, presents to buy and groceries you’ll need helps to organise your thoughts, prevents you forgetting something (or someone) and makes it easier to stick to a budget.
Remember you can even order all the food for Christmas dinner to be delivered as late as 23 December from a number of supermarkets (although these delivery spots need booking many weeks in advance) and some supermarkets offer click and collect services as late as Christmas Eve. If the expense of Christmas is causing you anxiety, you may find this advice from Money Saving Expert useful.

  • Be realistic about what can be achieved and afforded. Don’t aim for perfection and be disappointed.
  • Share the work out. Don’t take on every responsibility, such as shopping, cooking and coordinating engagements just because you always do. Ask someone else to help you out – people are often grateful to be asked.
  • Plan in advance. List making is an age old tactic, but it really works, and don’t leave everything until the last minute.
  • Make sure you get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Both are scientifically proven to improve mental health and wellbeing.
  • Don’t drink to excess. Alcohol can make you act in a way you might regret, and it can also have a depressive affect.
  • Try not to spend too much money. Gifts are not the most important part of Christmas and you may be storing up problems for the future if you get yourself into debt.
  • Help other people. Helping and giving to others will benefit the recipient of the help as well as yourself.
  • Take a break. If the family is getting too much, take a break, a spot of meditation or a walk in fresh air will help. Try to not let tensions mount up.
  • Be sure to check up on family and friends – particularly the elderly and vulnerable. Loneliness can be a particular issue over Christmas, so try and make sure no one spends the whole time without visitors or company.
  • Get enough sleep. A good sleep pattern can help you maintain good mental health and make you feel more alert and able to cope better with stress.
  • Try to spend some time relaxing. Remember to rest, spend some time just ‘being’ and take a break from ‘doing’.

For more advice about managing Christmas go to the Mental Health Foundation’s Christmas and Mental Health Information here: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/c/christmas-and-mental-health

If you do struggle at Christmas remember that there are free phone lines available to give you support and advice 24 hours a day. The telephone numbers listed are available throughout the Christmas period, please call them if you need extra support.

  • Mental Health Matters: 0800 107 0160 (free from all phones – mobile and landline)
  • Samaritans 116 123 (free from all phones – mobile and landline)
  • Childline: 0800 1111 (free from all phones – mobile and landline)
  • KMPT Single Point of Access 0300 222 0123

Can you help choose a new eating disorder service for Kent? Add to Your Support

Are you a service users or carer who has been affected by eating disorders?  Are you interested in helping to choose the new provider of eating disorder services for the residents of Kent and Medway?  Representatives are being sought for a specialist eating disorder service user and carer panel.  It is hoped that the panel will consist of a small representative group that takes into account parent, carer and patient views and the full age range for a new all age eating disorder service for Kent and Medway.

If you would like to express an interest in volunteering to be an evaluator for the new Kent and Medway eating disorder service the procurement team want to hear from you.

To be able to support this evaluation you should be able to commit to at least one virtual or face-to-face training session and your availability for the bid evaluation dates.

If a face-to-face training session is organised reasonable travel costs will be repaid.

Evaluation dates are in the early part of next year, between 17 and 27 January and it will be possible to contribute to the evaluation by e-mail or telephone.

If you are interested in helping to choose the new eating disorder service for Kent and Medway please contact the emails below with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your age and gender
  • Where you usually live
  • Any experience of eating disorder services that you have had
  • If you are a patient, parent or carer
  • If you belong to or have worked or volunteered for any organisations or charities that support people with eating disorders or their parents and carers
  • If there are any days, dates or longer periods of time when you will not be available

If there is more than the required number of people to join any group, an interview and selection process may be required.

If you would like to volunteer or require more information before you get involved please email: antoniaknifton@nhs.net and joscelinyates@nhs.net .

All applicants are welcome but currently there is no representation from the North Kent or Medway areas.  In addition representation is encouraged from boys and men who have been affected by eating disorders.

World AIDS Day 2016

World AIDS Day 2016 Add to Your Support

World AIDS Day 2016 is being held on 1 December. World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for you to learn the facts about HIV and put your knowledge into action There is also an online quiz: Are you HIV aware? where you can test your knowledge and awareness and them you can raise awareness of HIV and AIDS by passing the quiz on and sharing it with your friends and networks on Twitter and Facebook.

If you understand how HIV is transmitted, how it can be prevented, and the reality of living with HIV today – you can use this knowledge to take care of your own health and the health of others, and ensure you treat everyone living with HIV fairly, and with respect and understanding.

You can also show your support for people living with HIV on World AIDS Day by wearing a red ribbon the international symbol of HIV awareness and support and share your stories and support using the hashtag #PutARibbonOnIt


Carers Rights Day 2016 Add to Your Support

It is Carers Rights day on 25 November. A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or a friend who could not manage without this help. This could mean caring or someone who is ill, has a physical disability or has mental health needs. Many people do not class themselves as carers: they are mums and dads, husbands, wives, partners, brothers, sisters, friends and neighbours.

If you are a caring for someone having the right information at the right time can make a huge difference when you are looking after someone. Every year Carers Rights Day highlights the vital work that carers provide in our communities and aims to ensure they know their rights and how to get the help and support they are entitled to. Carers Rights Day 2016 has the theme of ‘Know Your Rights As a Carer‘.

Carers Rights Day aims to make sure carers know of the help and support that is available to them & to raise awareness of the needs of carers.

How can you get involved?

Why not hold an event to support Carers Rights Day? You can raise awareness of the vital support that carers give or hold an information session.  If you sign up Carers Rights Day will send you everything you need to hold an event.

If you are caring for someone Carers UK has some helpful tips and advice to help support you, follow the link to find out more.

Alcohol Awareness Week 2016

Alcohol Awareness Week Add to Your Support

Alcohol Awareness Week is running from 14 – 20 November. Alcohol Awareness Week gives us a time to think about how much we do drink. Most people who have alcohol-related health problems aren’t alcoholics. They’re simply people who have regularly drunk more than the recommended levels for some years. Regularly drinking more than the recommended daily limits risks damaging your health.

There’s no guaranteed safe level of drinking, but if you drink less than the recommended daily limits, the risks of harming your health are low. In alcohol awareness week why not take time to think about your drinking and take some steps to cut down on your intake.

  • men are not meant to drink more than 3-4 alcohol units a day
  • women should not drink more than 2-3 units.

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!

NHS Choices also have apps and advice to help you cut down on your alcohol intake find out more here: www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/Pages/sneaky-drinks.aspx




Anti Bullying Week 2016 Add to Your Support

Anti Bullying Week 2016 is running from the 14  – 18 November. This year’s Anti Bullying Week theme is “Power of Good”.  Anti Bullying week raises awareness of the impact on bullying on children’s lives and Anti Bullying Week is a great opportunity to stop bullying and change lives.

Anti Bullying week aims to:

  • Support children and young people to use their Power for Good – by understanding the ways in which they are powerful  and encouraging individual and collective action to stop bullying and create the best world possible.
  • Help parents and carers to use their Power for Good – through supporting children with issues relating to bullying and working together with schools to stop bullying.
  • Encourage all teachers, school support staff and youth workers to use their Power for Good – by valuing the difference they can make in a child’s life, and taking individual and collective action to prevent bullying and create safe environments where children can thrive.

How can you get involved?


To find out more about Anti Bullying week and how you can make a difference go to the links below: