Home Health Mental Health Awareness Week: looking after your mental health

Mental Health Awareness Week: looking after your mental health

by Laura Johnston

National Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, from 15 to 21 May, is a time to think and talk about mental health and also take action to support our mental health.

This year, the theme for the week is ‘anxiety’ which is one of the most common mental health problems people experience.

Anxiety is a normal emotion and a natural response in many different situations including when we experience money worries, health concerns, problems with relationships, or when we start a new job, experience work pressures, new social situations or other life events.

While it’s a natural reaction to everyday life, anxiety affects everyone differently. Some people may find that they worry and experience anxiety about ordinary, day to day activities and situations – it’s at this point where anxiety becomes a mental health problem.

You can sign up to Every Mind Matters (EMM’s) anxiety easing emails, offering expert advice to help you stay on top of your mental wellbeing and showing you how to make these new steps part of your routine.

Looking after your mental health

There are some simple things we can all do to be kind to our mind which can make a big difference to how we feel:

Being active is good for your body and mind, a daily brisk walk can help relieve anxiety

Make time to look after yourself, especially if you’re caring for others.

Catch up with friends or family, it’s OK to tell someone how you’re feeling and to ask for help.

Limit social media and how often you check news updates if these add to your anxiety levels

Drinking less alcohol can help improve your sleep and mood

You could also check out the Mental Health Foundation’s top tips on ways to manage anxiety.

Get active for your mental health

The Every Mind Matters (EMM) campaign is highlighting how Mental Health Awareness Week is the perfect time to get active.

No matter how much you do, being  active can make a big difference to how you feel – increasing feel-good hormones and helping reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress.  All types of activity counts, it’s important to do what you can within your own ability.

You could try downloading the free Couch to 5k app or the free Active 10 app to help you get active for positive mental health.

Cllr Christine Bannon, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Health, said:

“Mental Health Awareness Week is a good opportunity to think about some of the simple ways we can all look after our mental health and manage any stress and anxiety in our lives.


“Things that might be helpful include being active, getting out in nature, practising breathing techniques, getting support to tackle money worries or eating well. Talking to a friend, or spending time with loved ones, is often also a good first step.


“These small things can add up to make a big difference and ultimately help us to cope with life’s challenges.”

She added:

“The Every Mind Matters website has some fantastic free self-care resources and support available which can all help you to look after your mental health, including free apps to help you get active helping reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress”.


“There’s also support available 24/7 for anyone in mental health crisis and in need of urgent help.”

Mental health crisis support

If you are in mental health crisis and no longer feel able to cope or be in control of your situation and need urgent help, you can call the NHS Mental Health crisis line. NHS staff will then support you to get the help you need. Available for people of all ages, including children and young people, available 24/7. Call freephone 0800 051 1508.

Mental Health support

Sometimes anxiety can get out of control and start having a negative impact on your daily life. There are lots of places to which you can go or direct people for support:

Adults – support and advice helplines and services

 The services below can offer support to help look after your mental health or if you are concerned about someone you know.

  • Shout – offers confidential text messaging support for times when you need immediate support. The service is staffed by trained volunteers who will work with you to take your next steps towards feeling better. They can help with issues such as stress, anxiety and depression and are able to talk via text 24 hours a day. Simply text the word “REACH” to 85258. Find out more giveusashout.org/
  • Samaritansa safe place to talk 24 hours a day about whatever is troubling you. Call 116 123 or find out more samaritans.org/
  • Qwell – free, safe and anonymous online chat-based counselling support accessible 24 hours a day. Booked and drop-in chat sessions from midday to 10 pm weekdays and 6 pm to 10 pm on weekends with professional counsellors. You can also access self-help resources, support forums and other helpful content to support your mental health and wellbeing. Available for Knowsley residents aged 19 and over. Find out more qwell.io
  • Talking Therapies (Think Wellbeing Knowsley)free NHS therapy for people with common mental health problems such as anxiety or depression, to help you change the way you feel by changing the way you think.  Online therapy accessible 24 hours a day, with weekly online support from a therapist or attend a six-week skills for wellbeing course. One-to-one therapy also available for those who need extra support. Find out more search online for Talking Therapies (Think Wellbeing) : Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Listening Ear – provides face to face counselling support for people of all ages including children and young people.Call 0151 488 6648.  Find out more https://listening-ear.co.uk
  • Silver Line – for those aged 55 and over is a helpline which provides friendship, conversation and support. Free to call 24 hours a day on 0800 470 8090 from a mobile or landline. Find out more thesilverline.org.uk/
  • AMPAROsupport for anyone affected by suicide. Call 0330 088 9255 or find out more amparo.org.uk/
  • StayAlive app suicide prevention resource which provides accessible support including a safety plan and LifeBox where people can upload images or videos that remind them of their reasons to stay alive. The app is designed to help both those who are having suicidal thoughts and those who are concerned about someone else. Free to download on both iOS and Android devices.
  • Hub of Hope mental health support database sharing information about local and national support. Find out more hubofhope.co.uk
  • Better Health, Every Mind Matters – expert advice and practical tips from the NHS to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. Free personalised mental health action plan providing practical tips to help you deal with stress and anxiety, boost your mood, sleep better and feel more in control. You can also join an email support programme where you can get reminders, receive new tips and are encouraged to make looking after your mental wellbeing part of your everyday routine.
  • Life Rooms (delivered by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust) If you’re experiencing stress or anxiety due to the cost-of-living crisis, the Life Rooms team is available in Knowsley’s libraries on the following days and times, providing help and support for money issues and your mental health.
Library Address Life Rooms service available
Halewood Library Roseheath Drive, Halewood, L26 9UH Mondays from 10am to 4pm
Huyton Library Civic Way, Huyton, L36 9GD Tuesdays from 10am-4pm
Kirkby Library Norwich Way, Kirkby, L32 8XY Fridays from 10am-4pm
Prescot Library The Prescot Centre, Aspinall Street, Prescot, L34 5GA Wednesdays from 10am-4pm
Stockbridge Library The Withens, Stockbridge Village, L28 1AB. Thursdays from 10am-4pm

 Children and young people – support and advice helplines and services

 The agencies below can offer support to help you look after your own mental health or if you are concerned about someone you know.

  • Listening Ear – provides face to face counselling support for people of all ages including children and young people.Call 0151 488 6648.  Find out more https://listening-ear.co.uk
  • Kooth – provides online support and counselling, information, advice and support for young people in secondary schools. Find out more kooth.com or speak to your child’s school.
  • Young Minds – offers lots of practical tips and advice and real-life stories from other young people who have struggled with their mental health and how they got through it. Parents and carers who are concerned about their child’s mental health up to the age of 25 can get advice from the confidential helpline – call 0808 802 5544. Lines are open 9.30am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.  Webchat and email advice also available via the website find out more  youngminds.org.uk
  • Papyrusfor children and young people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide, or anyone concerned about a young person. Call 0800 068 4141 or find out more papyrus-uk.org
  • Knowsley Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) works with young people up to the age of 18 who have emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties which are causing difficulties in their school, family or social life. Speak to your GP, health visitor, social worker or school health advisor who will be able to refer you into this specialist service.