Find your ‘little big thing’ for mental wellbeing on World Mental Health Day


On World Mental Health Day (Tuesday 10 October), local NHS organisations are backing a campaign that encourages people to find the ‘little big thing’ that can help lift their mood or ease their anxiety.

The national ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign says that little things like a regular chat with friends can make a big difference to mental health and wellbeing, and encourages people to find out what works for them.

Dr Natasha Ward, a local GP and clinical lead for mental health, said:

“Many of us take for granted the little things we do every single day that make a positive impact on our wellbeing. Simple things such as walking outside, taking part in sport, talking with friends and getting a good night’s sleep are so important and make a big difference to the way we feel.

“We need to all be kind to ourselves by taking the steps, no matter how small, to look after our mental health and wellbeing.”

Every Mind Matters is supported by a free, NHS-approved online programme designed to help everyone find the little things we can all do to look after our mental health and cope with life’s challenges.

At its heart is the free Mind Plan, available on the Every Mind Matters website. By answering five short questions people get a personalised mental health action plan, providing practical tips to help them deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood, sleep better and feel more in control.

People can also sign up for anxiety-easing emails for expert advice and practical tips on coping with anxiety, or even join a six-week programme to help wind-down and have a good night’s sleep.

Charlie Hartley-Hodge is the founder of Bristol-based community mental health support group ActiveBeing. She is a keen supporter of the ‘little big things’ message and especially the benefits of connecting with nature through exercise in local green spaces.

Charlie recently won a BBC Radio Bristol Make a Difference Award with her ActiveBeing community programme, which supports local women to improve their mental health and wellbeing through a range of outdoor activities from walk and talk sessions to creative arts.

Charlie said:

“Studies show that regular access to green spaces offers a range of health benefits including reducing anxiety and stress, promoting social connection and enhancing wellbeing.

“Just by being outside and in a more relaxed environment, we can use our activities to support people to overcome their mental health challenges and provide the tools and techniques to help them to cope into the future.”

Share your views on mental health strategy

Helping more people to manage their mental health through self-care, is one of the key priorities set out in a new draft mental health strategy prepared by health and care partners in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

The Integrated Care System ‘All-Age Mental Health Strategy’ has been developed with input from a wide range of local people, including those with lived experience, and sets out a vision for the future of mental health in the area as well as the work which will help deliver that vision.

An engagement exercise is being launched on 10 October, World Mental Health Day, to seek feedback from local people and organisations on the strategy.

Dominic Hardisty, Chief Executive at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP), said:

“We have worked closely with Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire colleagues on the development of this strategy. There is clear alignment with AWP’s own five-year plan to improve mental health, learning disability and autism services across the south west which we launched earlier this year.

“As key local partners we are fully commitment to the vision and priorities described in this strategy, and to working together to provide high quality mental health services for people across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.”

Find out more on the Healthier Together website.