Supporting good mental health this Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 runs from 15 to 21 May, and aims to tackle stigma and provide people with the information and tools to understand and prioritise their own mental health.

We have compiled some suggestions for ways you can support good mental health for yourself and others.

Join a local activity or group

Being part of social groups has been proven to boost health and wellbeing.

You can find a full directory of community groups and in Portsmouth on the HIVE directory. There is something for everyone. Activities include: adult learning, breakfast clubs, culture and faith groups, getting back to work, support for veterans, Men’s shedsChat over Chai, volunteering opportunities and much, much more.

Keep active

This year for Mental Health Awareness Week, the Mental Health Foundation are focusing on the theme of anxiety. Physical activity can increase feel good hormones and help reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress.

This is why Every Mind Matters is encouraging people to make the first move for their mental health. The Every Mind Matters website has lots of NHS-approved tips and advice to help you stay on top of your mental wellbeing, including links to free apps such as Couch to 5k that will support you to make the first move whatever your starting point.

Know where to access help

If you live in Portsmouth and if you’re struggling with your own mental health or are worried about someone else, support is available through the recently launched Mental Health Hub phoneline.

You can call the Mental Health Hub phoneline on 0300 123 6621 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm) or you can visit

Learn how to support others

There are host of training opportunities to help develop your skills and confidence in supporting others with their mental health and wellbeing. See a full range of options here and a few examples listed below.

  • Mental health awareness free online training for health and care staff. It is designed to give a broad overview of what encompasses mental illness whilst highlighting the link between mental and physical health diagnoses. 20 minute e-learning module.
  • Suicide First Aid Lite aims to develop confidence, knowledge and skills in suicide awareness and prevention. This subsidised training is suitable for all adults, in all occupations. Three-hour session, held via Zoom.
  • Making Every Contact Count (MECC) – this free training is aimed at volunteers and workforces who support others will help develop the practical skills to have ‘supportive conversations’ to promote wellbeing. The training is delivered as a three hour session at the Civic Offices.
  • If you work or volunteer with young people in Portsmouth, you can now book your place for free online training to help you support children with their emotional health. Flexible options are available to complete the online course in one full day, or to split it over three morning or two evening sessions – with sessions running until September. Find out more here.


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