Improving the borough’s mental health one step at a time

Published Monday, 14th May 2018
Five Ways to Wellbeing
Five Ways to Wellbeing

A new survey - released as part of Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May) – has shown that the people of Rotherham recognise the importance of looking after their mental health and wellbeing (99%).

However, over three quarters are not aware of the simple steps they can take to do this – known as the five ways to wellbeing.

The findings from Rotherham Council coincide with the launch of the Five Ways to Wellbeing campaign, which provides five simple steps that residents can follow to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Launched in partnership with NHS Rotherham CCG, The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, and voluntary organisations, the campaign encourages people to get active; take notice of your surroundings; connect with people; learn something new; and give something back to your community.

A new film will be shown across the borough to promote the campaign and show residents and organisations practical examples of how these steps can be incorporated into people’s everyday lives. Materials are also available on the Council website so people can promote the campaign at home, at school, in their community group, or at work.

Everyone has mental health, in the same way that people have physical health. The new campaign aims to inform people across Rotherham that it’s important to look after their mental health – putting it on an equal footing with physical health. By following these simple steps and making small changes people of all ages can feel happier, more positive and get the most from life.

Elaine Humphries lives in Clifton and is the Chair of Friends of Clifton Park. She runs a local gardening group which offers green fingered individuals the opportunity to get together and socialise. She said: “In my view looking after your mental wellbeing – as you would your physical wellbeing – is important and socialising with others can really make a real difference. At the gardening group we come together as individuals to do an activity that we love and get the chance to have a cuppa and a chat at the same time. It may seem like a small thing but it really makes a difference to how you feel and you become part of a community. The Five Ways to Wellbeing campaign is a great idea and I hope it encourages more people to get involved – particularly men who don’t always like to talk about how they’re feeling or try new groups, but it’s important so they don’t end up feeling lonely and isolated. We have a couple of men at the gardening group who really do love it and I’d encourage more to join us!”

The Five Ways to Wellbeing concept will also help to build mental health resilience, which could prevent people from becoming mentally unwell in future. In the survey, over 70 per cent of people said they had experience of a mental health problem. Encouragingly, the same number of people said that they would feel comfortable talking about a mental health problem.

Cllr David Roche, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Public Health at Rotherham Council and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “This campaign is something everyone can get involved with – it’s not about taking action once someone becomes ill but recognising that we all have mental health and there are easy steps that we can all take today, for free, to look after it. For too long mental health has been the poor relation to physical health and we are working hard to make sure people in the borough are aware of how they can look after their mental health, and where they can go if they start to notice a problem. The findings from our survey are encouraging so I hope this new campaign proves to be a useful resource for anyone who doesn’t know where to start with improving their mental wellbeing.”

Five Ways to Wellbeing was developed by the Government following extensive research by the New Economics Foundation. It is widely used across the country to promote positive mental wellbeing.

Read more about Five Ways to Wellbeing