This week, Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS, launched Every Mind Matters, a new online tool to empower people to look after their own mental health.

Developed with clinical and academic experts, national mental health charities and people with experience of poor mental health. Every Mind Matters is clinically assured by the NHS and supports people to build simple changes into their daily lives. Changes such as reframing unhelpful thoughts, breathing exercises or increasing physical activity.

All of these actions have well-evidenced impact on improving and maintaining good mental health. Helping people to get more out of life, feel and function better, have more positive relationships and manage difficult times – now and in the future.

By visiting the localised Every Mind Matters webpage you can answer a few simple questions to create a free personalised action plan, designed to help you deal with stress, boost your mood, improve your sleep and feel in control. It can be difficult to recognise that you are struggling and taking the first steps to getting help can also feel challenging. Using the Every Mind Matters tool you can find helpful tips within minutes.

Most people will know someone who has had mental health problems or have personally experienced them. Read Emma’s story to learn how, with the right steps, you can look after your own mental health and know when to ask for help.

Emma’s story

Emma has been through three particularly difficult periods in her life. The first two were when she was in her late twenties / early thirties and was under a lot of stress at work and found herself feeling depressed. She saw her GP and received counselling and some medication.

Just over a decade ago, witnessing a traumatic incident sparked a further bout of depression, flashbacks and sleep problems. She again saw her GP and started cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) sessions. As well as this, Emma began to focus more on exercise and now does CrossFit (a blend of weightlifting and aerobic work) three or four times a week as well as practicing mindfulness and yoga most mornings. She has also trained as a mental health first aider at her workplace in East Sussex.

Emma, from Worthing, said: “The combination of physical exercise and mindfulness and meditation works for me. When exercising, you have to concentrate on what you’re doing. So, as well as the natural endorphins, it takes you away from all your stresses and worries – it gives me head space. I also try to put things in perspective and not worry about things that are out of my control.”

The married procurement worker said that while most people have been very supportive, she still thinks there is a stigma around mental health. She said: “I got incredible support, but I did find there were still some people who didn’t understand, which is why it’s so important to speak about mental health.

“My advice would be to reach out and talk to someone you trust as well as seeing your GP. There are so many accessible services out there and people are just waiting to help you.

“I’ve done a few talks about mental health to some colleagues and the reaction has been really positive.”

Look after your own mental health

Emma has successfully established her own ways of managing her mental health and keeping a healthy happy mind, you can too with the Every Mind Matters tool.