An amazing 300 plus organisations got involved in Self Care Week last year with a reach of more than 22 million people, more than a third of England’s population. Dr Ian Banks, Trustee for the Self Care Forum and President of the European Men’s Health Forum, wants your help to make it bigger and better than ever before…
This year (12 – 18 November), we’re encouraging more people-facing organisations to bang the drum for self care and really get involved.
The Self Care Forum launched in 2009 with the aim to support people to take better care of their own health.
This awareness week, organised by the Forum since 2011, is now a well-established initiative used by many local health organisations including Healthwatch, CCGs, surgeries, pharmacies, local authorities and ambulance trusts.
It is encouraging that the benefits of promoting self care are being realised by more than the traditional health organisations. Self Care Week appeals to an increasingly eclectic mix, reaching out to schools, universities, gyms, national parks, bloggers, libraries, charities, local businesses and more.
That such growing and diverse communities are participating and communicating their own brand of self care, proves that our awareness week is having significant impact. As organisers, we are both gratified and inspired by the enthusiasm and innovation being demonstrated at a local level.
- Union of Kingston Students won overall with their excellent work to help students settle into student-life, offering support to promote healthy lifestyles including a safe-space to talk openly about their mental wellbeing.
- Indeed, improving the health literacy of school children and young people earnt several participants special Self Care Week innovation awards. For instance, Compass House Medical Centre in Brixham, whose patients and local community were largely disengaged and disempowered in their health, worked hard to re-engage the local population and went into schools to deliver health awareness classes.
- South Cheshire CCG and Royal Vale CCG collaborated closely with local partners to deliver a series of events and “pop up” stands using local links to cascade and target self care messages throughout the community. A dedicated programme of work with local school children was innovative and particularly worthy of an accolade.
- Milton Keynes CCG and its network engaged people as partners in their own health to help reduce demand on local health services. They produced a game to improve people’s ability to self-treat common conditions which had surprising appeal amongst children. Working collaboratively with local agencies also meant that self care messages were consistent and far-reaching.
If you want to join something bigger, start planning for Self Care Week now and help people choose Self Care for Life. For more information, including resources go to the website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to the Self Care Forum’s newsletter.