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The 'five a day' for your mind

10 May 2016

Essex residents are being encouraged to follow five steps to achieve better mental health as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

From Monday 16 May Essex County Council will be promoting ‘The Five Ways to Wellbeing’, which focuses on different areas of life, all which are proven to make difference to improving mental health. 

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are:

Connect: Send a text, meet up for a coffee or pick up your phone. Take time to make a new friend, or focus on making a little more effort with the friends and family who are already in your life.

Be active: Dance around your house, join a sports group or get away from your desk at lunch time. Anything that raises your heart rate, makes you breathe faster and makes you feel warmer counts.

Take notice: Visit your local park, sit in your garden or take up mindfulness. Take time out to stop, take notice and focus on something else to enjoy and feel calm about the space around you. 

Learn: Sign up to a course, find a recipe book or watch an instructional video on YouTube. Try something new by taking up a new hobby, set an enjoyable challenge or leaning a new skill.

Give: Feel good about yourself by doing something for someone else. Support a friend by doing something nice for them, volunteer for a community group or help out a stranger.

An information stall will be running during 9.30am – 2pm on Wednesday 18 May in the atrium at County Hall, Chelmsford. Representatives from groups across the voluntary, health, physical activity and education sectors will be attending and giving out information.

Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said:

“An awareness week such as this gives us an opportunity to highlight important issues, and a chance to start conversations which inform and improve people’s wellbeing.

“For some people, loneliness, inactivity or isolation can cause depression. For other people, alcohol misuse, stress or health issues can be a real pressure. There are many things you can do for yourself to improve your situation, and many community groups to give you that extra support.

“The Five Ways to Wellbeing is a simple concept from which we can all benefit. Each area makes a huge difference to a person’s sense of wellbeing, and breaking them down into topics means they are easier to understand and follow.”

Follow Essex County Council on Facebook ( or Twitter ( to get detailed daily updates throughout Mental Health Awareness Week of each of The Five Ways to Wellbeing as well as links to related support groups and activities.