DR JULIANA Onwumere, a consultant clinical psychologist and senior lecturer at the institute of psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience, King’s College London, tells us about Every Mind Matters
IN MY role, I have the privilege of working with many people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Interestingly, a recent survey from Public Health England (PHE) revealed that more than seven in ten (78 per cent) African, Caribbean and Black British people have experienced early signs of poor mental health such as stress, anxiety, low mood and trouble sleeping in the last 12 months. Importantly, the survey also revealed that over a quarter (27 per cent) of people who had experienced early signs of poor mental health waited at least six months before taking action to manage their mental health.
All too often, things can deteriorate with our mental health and wellbeing because we don’t know where to turn to for support. Similarly, we might not know or understand the benefits of tackling everyday problems early on.
In all communities, including black communities, there can also be a degree of shame, stigma or fear attached to living with a mental health problem. Invariably, this can impact how people look after themselves and the support they seek, when trying to maintain good mental health.
To help address this and to encourage more people to look after their own mental health and positive wellbeing, PHE, in partnership with the NHS, has launched Every Mind Matters and is encouraging people to complete a “Mind Plan”, a quick and free online tool. Clinically assured by the NHS, the plan recommends a personalised range of evidence-based self-care actions for each individual, which are designed to deal with stress, boost mood, improve sleep and help people feel more in control.
Tackling the onset of common mental health concerns early – such as stress, anxiety, low mood, and sleep troubles – can help to prevent them from escalating into more serious clinical conditions.
For all communities, including those from black and other ethnic minority backgrounds, Every Mind Matters offers an opportunity to consider simple steps you can take to boost your mental health and wellbeing. It can also be a great resource to support friends and family who might be struggling.
To discover simple steps for a healthier mind, create your bespoke action plan at: www.everymindmatters.co.uk