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Mental Health Awareness and Support

This year the NHS wants to raise awareness about anxiety. Everyone can experience anxious feelings, especially with pressures such as the cost-of-living crisis (more than 1/3 of adults feel anxious about their financial situation) (Mental Health Foundation, 2023). Anxiety can have both physical and mental affects, affect sleep quality, ability to concentrate, make people avoid socailising or you may appear calm on the outside but feel panicky on the inside. It’s important to recognise these feelings, build strategies to self soothe and seek support when needed.

Tips to look after yourself 


Eat more fibre, most adults consume less than the recommended 30g of fibre per day. A high fibre diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer.

Eat the rainbow, different coloured fruit and vegetables contain different nutrients. Red and Purple/Blue fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants. Orange/ Yellow fruit and vegetables are high in vitamin C and beta-carotene which our bodies can convert into Vitamin A. Green fruit and vegetables are high in fibre, rich in folate, iron, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium and potassium.

Sleep well 

Sleep helps maintain cognitive skills, such as attention, learning, and memory. Lack of sleep can make it difficult to manage every day stressors. Improve sleep by establishing a routine (go to bed and wake up at the same time every day). Don’t use devices 2 hours before bed or use a blue light filter, night mode or dark mode (Mind, 2020). Make your sleep environment comfortable (temperature, light, keep work outside of the bedroom). Relax by listening to music, having a bath or try a breathing exercise:

Create a support network

Research has also demonstrated the link between social relationships and many different aspects of health and wellness. Poor social support has been linked to depression, loneliness, increased alcohol use and cardiovascular disease (American Psychological Association, 2019). 

Build your support network by reaching out to family and friends, even just sending a message to say hello. Make use of technology, you can arrange video calls if you’re not able to meet up in person. Connect with people who share your interests, try joining a local club, and check your local library, community centre or council website to find out what’s available in your local area (Mental health first aid, 2020).

Get a hobby 

Spending time on an activity that you enjoy can improve your mental health and wellbeing. Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low mood, and depression. Activities that get you out and about can make you feel happier and more relaxed. Group activities like team sports can improve your communication skills and relationships with others (Mentalhealthfoundation, 2021).

Spend time in nature 

Research shows that being in nature can make us feel happier, feel our lives are more worthwhile, and reduce our levels of depression and anxiety. Nature doesn’t have to mean forests or national parks either: walking to a local common, visiting a friend’s garden or simply noticing trees and flowers planted by the roadside can boost your mental well-being (Mentalhealthfoundation, 2021).

Keep hydrated

Adults need to drink around 1.5–2 litres of fluid a day. A typical mug or glass is about 200mls so this equates to 8-10 drinks a day.

Stay Active

Being active releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good, boosting your self-esteem and helping you concentrate as well as sleep well and feel better.

Government guidelines suggest adults aim to do 150 minutes of moderate activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week (Mentalhealthfoundation, 2021).


Mindfulness involves paying attention to what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment. Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment.

Try this mindfulness breathing exercise.

Organisations you can contact for support

Services may have wait lists.


Cruse Bereavement Helpline: 0808 808 1677 Website:

Mental Health Matters Kent and Medway Helpline: 0800 107 0160 Available 24/7 and Webchat:

Talking Therapies

Everyturn Self refer on website using webchat

North Kent Mind Talking Therapies (previously IAPT) Employment Support Contact: [email protected]

Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

ieso Digital Health One to one typed cognitive behavioral therapy sign up online

SilverCloud Health Online supported cognitive behavioral therapy programmes, tailored to their specific needs, which have demonstrated high improvement rates for depression, anxiety and stress.

24/7 text support service

To start a conversation, text the word ‘SHOUT‘ to 85258. Our trained volunteers are here to listen at any time of day or night, and messages won’t appear on your phone bill. Watch this video to see how it works:

We Are With You Offer free online courses for people who want to improve their mental well-being, to see what courses they offer and sign up visit

Samaritans You can contact Samaritans if your going through something new or have been struggling to cope for sometime, to chat to someone and get some support. Call 116 123 for free, day or night. They are also developing an online chat support.

Stay Alive The Stay Alive app is a suicide prevention resource for the UK, packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis. Available if you are worried about yourself or someone else.

See a GP if:

  • you’re struggling to cope with anxiety, fear or panic
  • the things you’re trying yourself are not helping
  • you would prefer to get a referral from a GP

More Information:

NHS anxiety self-help guide