Better Mental Health for All

Oxfordshire residents have been opening-up and sharing their experiences on how they look after their mental health as Oxfordshire County Council mark’s this year’s World Mental Health Day (10 October).

One in four will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives.

Yasmin Kaduji, 53 from Banbury, shared with us what she does to look after her mental health: “I go to the gym, eat well and take time out from the mundane routine. Today eating my lunch at the dining table rather than my desk made me feel good.”

Changes to normal daily life has highlighted the need to take care of mental health more than ever. Two thirds of people in the South East have found their mental health worsening during lockdown.

Josh, 23, from Oxfordshire has reflected on his own mental health and how he manages.

“I try to look after my mental health by talking to people about it, and not shutting people out or bottling it up, as I have learnt that’s not helpful. I also go out for nice walks.”

He continued: “I am looking forward to carrying on working on my mental health. I know I can't completely cure it, but it’s good to have a better understanding and better coping methods now.”

Similarly, more than one in four young people did not access support during lockdown as they felt they did not deserve it.

Sally, who’s 18 and lives in Oxford has been getting support from the Mental Wealth Academy for over two months now.

Mental Wealth Academy is a partnership designed to help young people aged between 16-25, experiencing mild-moderate mental health issues, that may include stress, exam pressure, depression, low mood, or anxiety. It can be accessed by self-referral.

Talking about the support she gets from the Mental Wealth Academy, Sally commented: “They help me through tough and difficult times. Having someone to talk to helps get things off my chest and the guidance and support they offer makes day to day life a lot easier.”

She has offered some advice to those her age who might need it: “Talk to someone. You’re not alone. There’s so much support out there. Have a positive mantra to help you relax and reduce your anxiety.” 

Healthwatch Oxfordshire recently asked parents’ parents and carers views on what impacts their mental wellbeing and supports positive wellbeing in young children under five. Many considered for themselves feeling rested, access to nature, good support and good food vital. For their children listening to things that worry them, asking at bedtime what makes them happy, sad, worried and talking it through.

Adam Briggs, Consultant in Public Health at Oxfordshire County Council said: “We are working together in Oxfordshire for better mental health and wellbeing for everyone. It’s really important, more than ever, that everyone, of all ages, takes time out to look after their mental health. There’s plenty of simple, easy steps that we can all take, but it’s also vital that you don’t bottle it up, and you seek help if you need it.”

More Information

Every Mind Matters- advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing here.

24/7 Mental Health Helpline for adults, children and young people in Oxfordshire, click here.

Mental Wealth Academy, for 16-25 year-olds across Oxfordshire, support from the project can be accessed via a self-referral, more information here.

Mental health support for children and young people here.

Do One Thing Today start with Oxfordshire Mind here, access information and support, physical wellbeing, work, share your story, volunteer.

Age UK Oxfordshire, services for older people and their carers here.

Find out more and share your views on local support:

  • Parents do you get the help and support you need ? Let us know what support you think is working well and where there might be gaps by completing the short, anonymous survey here.
  • Healthwatch Oxfordshire reports on mental health and wellbeing; Let’s Talk About Mental Health, Emotional Wellbeing in 0-5 year olds in Oxfordshire here.

Mind (2020) The mental health emergency: how has the coronavirus pandemic impacted our mental health? London: Mind. Available at: https://www.mind.org.uk/