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Looking after your mental health

The 5 ways to wellbeing are a set of evidence-based public mental health messages developed by the National Economics Foundation.

Essex County Council has put together this short video which describes how you can implement the 5 ways to wellbeing to improve your overall mental health.

Here are the main points with links to more information as well as local organisations that can help you in Essex. 


Connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships.

Learn more in Connect for mental wellbeing.

  • Essex Connects can help locate local clubs, groups and support services in your area.  It also provides links to Connect Well and Community 360 (Colchester and Tendring), both online tools that can help people find the information they need.
  • Essex Activities offers a searchable database of upcoming activities in Essex.
  • Friends in Need is a way for people affected by depression to meet online and in their local area. It's free to join and a great way to share support.
  • Rethink also run support groups (varies according to location).
  • Essex Shed Network supports Men in Sheds initiative.  Find a shed project near you, or can even start one up.

Be active

You don't have to go to the gym or do things that cost money. You can take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.

Learn more in Get active for mental wellbeing.

  • Active Essex is the place to find local health and wellbeing activities in Essex.
  • Essex Activities offers a searchable database of upcoming activities in Essex.
  • Visit Essex offers plenty of ideas to get out and about as well as upcoming events in your neighbourhood.
  • Fitness in Mind promotes, encourages and provides physical activity as an aid to mental wellbeing for residents in the Brentwood area.

Keep learning

Learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike?

Find out more in Learn for mental wellbeing.


Even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.

Learn more in Give for mental wellbeing.

  • Volunteer Essex is the largest comprehensive source of volunteering opportunities across the county.
  • Essex Libraries offer a range of volunteering opportunities.

Be mindful

Be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness "mindfulness". It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.

Learn more in Mindfulness for mental wellbeing.

Related links

NHS Choices offers a range of digital apps for managing your mental health which can be accessed from your computer, phone or tablet. 

They also offer a dedicated area called Moodzone with practical advice, interactive tools, videos and audio guides to help you feel mentally and emotionally better.

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