Publish date: 7 October 2022

Be kind to yourselves this World Mental Health Day, urge local health experts

“Be kind to your mind” is the message from local health experts this World Mental Health Day (Monday 10th October), as they urge the public to do the small things that can make a big difference to how they feel.

Claire Williamson, Head of Psychological Therapies at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, said: "When we experience good mental health, we are able to enjoy our lives more with our family, friends and work colleagues. It is therefore so important that we all learn how to be kind to ourselves by taking steps, no matter how small, towards improving our mood and self-esteem.

“It is common to sometimes feel down and anxious for short periods of time, but this can lead to longer periods of depression and anxiety which can have a huge impact on our day-to-day lives.  We are therefore encouraging people to recognise the signs that they or someone they care about needs help and to take action to access the support they need."

Dr Mary Backhouse, local GP and Clinical Lead for Mental Health at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, said:

“Signs of poor mental health such as anxiety, stress, or trouble sleeping can be a natural response to the difficult situations we face in everyday life. For most people this will pass, but they can escalate into more serious issues if people don’t take action.

“I encourage anyone experiencing difficulty with their mental health to seek support, whether that is through campaigns such as Every Mind Matters or through direct access to a healthcare professional. It’s important we all be kind to our minds by taking the steps, no matter how small, to look after our mental health and wellbeing.”

This year, the new NHS Better Health - Every Mind Matters campaign has been launched, helping everyone to find the little things we can all do to look after our mental health and show how they can add up to make a big difference; helping everyone to lead happier, healthier lives and cope with life’s challenges.

Central to the campaign is the free, NHS-approved Mind Plan, available on the 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.

There is also expert support available locally to all adults 16 and over across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire through VitaMinds. VitaMinds offer a range of short-term psychological therapies for people suffering from a range of mental health challenges, such as depression, low mood, anxiety, panic attacks and more.

Adults in Bath, Swindon and Wiltshire can seek support through Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services which aim to help manage a range of common mental health problems including anxiety, stress, depression and low mood.

The VitaMinds and IAPT services can be contacted directly, without the need for a referral from a GP or other healthcare service. The teams will take the time to understand and listen to what you need to get back on track and provide a range of evidence-based talking therapies as well as guidance and advice on community services that can support you in your local area.

Find out more about VitaMinds at or IAPT at

Small actions that can make a big difference:

  • Taking time to do mindful breathing by breathing in and out slowly
  • Planning an hour of screen-free time before bed
  • Reviewing your to-do list and breaking down your biggest tasks into smaller, easier-to-manage chunks
  • Taking a walk
  • Seeing or getting in contact with a friend or loved one