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'Five-a-day-for-the-mind' to be trialled by NHS

16 May 2011 | The Telegraph

A new campaign to make everyone feel more cheerful will be trialled by the NHS. Taking as its template the "five-a-day" campaign to get us eating more fruit and vegetables, Mindapples is a "five-a-day for your mind" programme to benefit mental well-being. It asks people to think of five mood-boosting activities - mindapples, for short - and incorporate them into their daily routine. These can be as simple as a walk in the park, helping a neighbour, reading a book or even relaxing in the bath.

It is an idea that is gaining ground at a time when both professionals and politicians are focusing on people's well-being. The Action for Happiness movement, the world's first, was launched last month, while, at David Cameron's request, the Office for National Statistics has included questions in its nationwide survey to find out how satisfied we are with our lives. The results will be published in a well-being index, alongside economic growth figures.

There is also increasing concern about mental health problems. A 43 per cent rise in antidepressant prescriptions in the past four years has been linked to the rise in job insecurity. One in four people will suffer from a mental health issue during their lifetime, the most common being anxiety and depression.

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