Public Health eNews

January 2017

Director's Welcome

Director's welcome

Welcome to the January edition of Public Health eNews, I hope you all had a restful break.

January is traditionally a time when the media is jam-packed full of healthy living advice and fad diets, capitalising on the public momentum at this time of year to get healthy.

For our part in this onslaught, we’re promoting the One You campaign – a well-researched Public Health England led initiative that targets adults and encourages them to make small changes to their lifestyle to get a little bit healthier.

As part of this campaign we’re encouraging residents to take the ‘How Are You’ quiz which takes them through a series of lifestyle questions and then points them to useful, approved online tools and healthy eating advice.  They can also sign up for local support to help them on their journey back to health.  Please do help us promote this quiz by sharing it widely though your networks.  More information is available in the campaigns section.

As we often find at this time of year, Hertfordshire’s A&E departments and ambulance service are experiencing real pressures right now.  Agencies across the county are getting information out to the public via a range of channels making it clear that A&E is for the most serious conditions, and giving information on all the other services available to help people when they are unwell.

Please do help us spread this important message by retweeting messages and using any other methods you have to spread the word. All relevant links and information are available in the campaigns section under the ‘Stay Well This Winter’ article.

As always, mental health is prominently in the news, with Theresa May’s recent announcement that new measures will be introduced to help schools in England tackle mental illness. Here in Hertfordshire we are already ahead of the game, with a raft of new initiatives and funding to develop and improve our mental health services.

The latest of these developments is a new specialist team that is being set up in Hertfordshire to support new mothers and pregnant women with moderate to severe mental health difficulties.  You can read more about this in the mental health section.

If you didn’t get a chance to read about other recent developments in mental health services in Hertfordshire in the December edition, I would strongly urge you to go back and have a quick look through as there really is a lot happening.  You can follow the link at the bottom of the page to previous issues or simply click here.

Finally, you may already be aware of this news, but it is with great sadness that I have to inform you of the death of Councillor Sherma Batson MBE.  Sherma was a County Councillor, Member of the Public Health, Localism and Libraries Cabinet Panel, Borough Councillor for Stevenage and former Mayor of Stevenage.  She was a real public health champion and advocate and will be sorely missed.  Our sincerest condolences go out to her family and friends.

This newsletter aims to bring you news and updates from the world of public health.  We hope it is of use and interest to the hundreds of partners across the county that receive it, and welcome contributions from anyone who would like to share information about their specific public health initiatives with the wider workforce.

I look forward to working with you all again in 2017 and continuing to promote the public health agenda.  Wishing you all a very healthy, happy and productive year.

Jim McManus
Director of Public Health

Current Campaigns

This month’s health-related press releases from Hertfordshire County Council

Swap your old slippers for FREE at Hertford Library

06 Jan 2017

Children make a heartfelt plea about the dangers of smoking as part of New Year campaign

05 Jan 2017

Need a New Year’s resolution? Why not volunteer to help end loneliness?

05 Jan 2017

Hertfordshire County Council urges people to consider their health

28 Dec 2016

Baby it's cold outside

28 Dec 2016

“We were just rowing and we were not discussing things”

16 Dec 2016

Are you prepared for a healthy winter?

15 Dec 2016

Top tips to help reduce loneliness for the eldery at Christmas

13 Dec 2016

Hertfordshire campaign scoops national award

09 Dec 2016

New regulations for bird keepers

09 Dec 2016


For a full list of all press releases issued by Hertfordshire County Council please visit out Media Centre 

If you would like your own health-related press releases listed here please contact the editor 

 

PHE campaign updates

January is always a busy time for public health campaigns, and this year is no different, with a series of campaigns launched by Public Health England (PHE) including:

As always, there's a range of information, toolkits, downloadable materials and other useful information in the PHE Campaign Resource Centre.  Please do have a look and use the materials to help you publicise the camapigns.  It is available at: https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/ 

If you are unable to access the Campaign Resource Centre or have any questions about the Public Health England campaigns, please do not hesitate to contact joanne.necchi@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Please follow the links above or on the right of this page to find out more about each of the latest campaigns.

ONE YOU

 

The One You campaign encourages people to eat better, be more active, stop smoking and consider their drinking habits. It also encourages people to keep an eye on their stress levels and sleep habits.

Hertfordshire is urging residents to take a moment to consider their health and the simple steps they can take to improve it this New Year, by taking the One You online quiz 'How Are You'.

** Please help us increase Hertfordshire's sign up to the quiz by
promoting it as much as possible
through your own channels! **

It would be great if we could get Hertfordshire to the top of the leaderboard for sign ups! 

If possible, please use this dedicated URL for Hertfordshire in your digital activity as this will help us
track where referrals to the website and quiz come from:
http://bit.ly/2ig6ckU


The usual resources are available on the PHE campaign resource centre to help with promotion. They include open artwork files that you can add your own local logos an images to so that they are customised for your organisation.

Pharmacies can order One You Pharmacy Toolkits. Click here for more information. 

Resources include:

  • Key Messages and long and short lead copy
  • Print ready New Year-themed A4 poster and pull up banner
  • One You case studies from around the country (including Hertfordshire)
  • More information about the One You Alcohol Checker (enables people to check their drinking and assess risk) anddigital assets to promote it and embed the tool on your own website
  • Social media assets, including:
    • A gif (short video clip) promoting 'A new eat well/ move more/ drink less/ smoke free you' and driving people to take the How Are You quiz
    • Facebook and Twitter cover images
    • Social posts with 'Ready for a New You?' and 'Take the How Are You Quiz' messages
    • A social post with the 'How Are You?' message specifically designed for full localisation

A full campaign briefing is available here.

The local One You press release is available here.

If you require further information about Hertfordshire's promotion of this campaign please contact joanne.necchi@hertfordshire.gov.uk 


* * *

Hertfordshire leads the way!
We’re also really pleased to announce that Hertfordshire is featured as one of the PHE case studies, as a national example of good practice for the work we did to set up, launch and promote One You Day in July.

So thank you to everyone who helped to make this day such a success and please do have a look at the case study to see the results of the day. It is available here.

 

 

 

HEALTH HARMS

 


The Health Harms campaign encourages people to quit smoking for the New Year and signposts them to Smokefree tools for support. It also encourages people to download the Smokefree app.

The campaign runs until 31 January.

 the usual resources are available to download or order on the PHE campaign resource centre

The press release is available here.

A fuller briefing is available here.

 

CHANGE4LIFE FOODSMART

 

 

PHE has launched a new campaign highlighting the surprising amount of sugar, saturated fat and salt found in everyday food and drink.

The usual downloadable, customisable and print-ready resources are available on the PHE campaign resource centre


Add PDF

 

SEPSIS

In the last issue we told you about the launch of an important new PHE campaign to raise awareness of Sepsis (view article here).

Please share this campaign though your networks.

As part of the launch:

  • The sepsis symptoms hero film featuring Melissa Mead was posted on her social media –  the Facebook post is available here.  On the morning of the launch it had had more than 157k views, 2.3k shares and 552 reactions
  • The film has been posted on social media – Facebook post available here. This had more than 7k views in the first three hours of posting, 171 shares and 89 reactions.
  • A Netmums social post available here had more than 29k views, 296 shares and 289 reactions on the morning of launch

The press release is available here and the usual publicity materials are available on the PHE campaign resource centre

 

STAY WELL THIS WINTER

The Stay Well This Winter campaign is still ongoing and partners are encouraged to continue to post social media messages to encourage people to visit their pharmacy if they feel unwell and make sure they take care during periods of cold weather.

Uptake of the flu vaccine seems to be higher than at the same point last year across all groups, which is great news, but GP vaccinations started two weeks earlier this year which might account for this difference.  Please continue to encourage residents to get the flu jab.

As you may expect, Hertfordshire’s A&E departments and ambulance service are experiencing real pressures right now.  Agencies across the county are getting information out to the public via a range of channels making it clear that A&E is for the most serious conditions, and giving information on all the other services available to help people when they are unwell.

Please do help us spread this important message by retweeting the messages and using any other methods you have to spread the word.

Here is a link to the CCG press release for anyone wanting further information:

http://hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk/news-events/693-hertfordshire-hospitals-under-great-pressure

And here is what the CCGs are tweeting

https://twitter.com/HVCCG/status/816973471750254592

 

Many thanks for your continued support with this campaign.  If you have any questions please contact joanne.necchi@hertfordshire.gov.uk

 Stay Well this Winter

Dry January

Alcohol Concern will again be promoting their popular Dry January campaign. This year’s campaign has brand new partnerships and a new app – Dry January and beyond – to help people get through the month. For more information visit www.dryjanuary.org.uk or e-mail dryjanuary@alcoholconcern.org.uk.

Health and Wellbeing Focus

Surge in volunteer interest for Hertfordshire Health Walks

 

Since the beginning of September 2016 there has been a significant increase in enquiries to the Countryside Management Service (CMS) from people interested in volunteering as Health Walk Leaders.

The promotion of volunteering through #TeamHerts and the Year of Volunteering has been influential. However, since CMS ran an advert in the Autumn edition of Horizons magazine, produced by the County Council, interest has boomed. There have been almost 50 responses to the ½ page call to action, since the magazine hit door mats in October.

In order to meet demand across the county CMS has scheduled Health Walk leader training days. Training and walk leading kits are provided free of charge and new leaders are supported by experienced leaders to complete several walks under supervision before taking on their own walks.  Data entry of registers and new walker sign-up forms are completed by volunteers but day-to-day support is provided by CMS staff.

The CMS is very encouraged by this new interest in volunteering and will be developing new walks to help Hertfordshire residents become more active. The new walks will be in London Colney, developed in partnership with London Colney Parish Council and St Albans City and District Council, South Oxhey, Mill End and Maple Cross working with Three Rivers District Council.

CMS is always on the look out for new volunteers to support the current offering of almost 60 short walks per week across the county.  If you are interested in volunteering or would like to know more about taking part in your local health walks, please contact phnews@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

Please help share this message by publicising through your networks.

More information on Hertfordshire Health Walks and the January-April 2017 programmes are available to view online at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/healthwalks


Horizons
If you are interested in advertising in Horizons magazine, which goes to every household in Hertfordshire, please contact phnews@hertfordshire.gov.uk

 

Herts Sports Partnership Active Lunch Challenge

The Active Lunch Challenge is an 8-week national activity logging challenge taking place from 4 January to 28 February 2017, where you and your colleagues can log activities and earn activity points on the Workplace Challenge website and app.

All you need to do is sign into the website or app and log your activities on the main dashboard.

Workplaces across the country will be taking part in the challenge, logging their points to climb the national leaderboards, with a selection of great prizes on offer.

Bite size activities can be anything that gets your heart rate elevated, makes you feel a little bit warmer and gets your blood pumping! From a brisk walk in a midday mile, to a tussle over table tennis, get logging your activity!

Rally the troops and get your workplace moving at www.workplacechallenge.org.uk/activelunch

Herts Careline gears up for winter

 

To ensure that come flood, snow or power-cut, Herts Careline’s Control Centre continues to support its community alarm and telecare customers, it has upgraded its emergency response capability this winter. It has invested in two new 4x4 vehicles and a new state of the art ‘Disaster Recovery’ centre. 

Award-winning Herts Careline helps thousands of residents across the whole of Hertfordshire live independently at home with the use of telecare modern technology.  So it’s important that every eventuality is prepared for to ensure that these critical services are provided around the clock.

The vehicles and new back-up site mean that whatever the weather and whatever circumstances, customers and their families can be reassured that our call operators will be ready, as usual, to support the 1,500 calls for help they receive every day.

For further information contact Stephanie Bevan on 0300 999 2 999 or email: stephanie.bevan@north-herts.gov.uk

Hertfordshire's Year of Volunteering

Volunteers across Hertfordshire are making a big difference in their communities by giving up their time to help tackle loneliness, which can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
 
Coupled with isolation, the cold and wintry conditions and shorter days mean that many already feel in poor health at this time of year. One million older people in the UK suffer chronic loneliness, with half of those over-65 (52%) missing simply being with someone, a recent study by the Campaign to End Loneliness has shown.

Christina Hammond, 56, who has spent nearly 10 years as a volunteer for the 10 to 3 Club in Hitchin, run by Age UK, said: “I’ve always loved chatting to older people and this seemed like an ideal position. In fact, one of the things we enjoy most is singing. We also have reminiscing days themed around school, work or perhaps experiences in wartime.

She added: “The elderly who come to us are mostly in their 70s, we have one lady who is 95. It does really help those who are lonely or isolated. It usually takes about a month for them to settle, at first, they are nervous and a bit tentative. For many this is the only social outing they have all week. I love it especially when they say thank you to me because they have had such a lovely time.”

Last year Hertfordshire County Council launched our celebrated campaign Hertfordshire Year of Volunteering which is supported by a range of organisations from across the county, including district councils, #TeamHerts and Hertfordshire Sports Partnership (HSP). These organisations and many others from both the public and voluntary sectors work closely with volunteers each and every day.

 

For more information about Hertfordshire Year of Volunteering, go to www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/volunteering.   Check for social media update by searching for #hertsyov.

 

Please share with your networks.

Children make a heartfelt plea about the dangers of smoking

Hertfordshire County Council is supporting a national campaign to highlight the damaging effect smoking has on the heart, as it is revealed that 45 people a day die of cardiovascular disease (CVD) caused by smoking - over 16,500 a year in England.

As part of the campaign, Public Health England (PHE) has released an emotive short film featuring children’s TV doctor Dr Ranj working with primary school children to create their own heartfelt messages about the dangers of smoking.

The two biggest motivators for smokers to quit are for their health and their families.

As Hertfordshire smoker of 36 years Stephen Iacovone explains: “It doesn’t matter how many times people tell you to give up, you have to want to.I knew I couldn’t keep on smoking, especially with the children asking me to stop – it got to the point where I was hiding my roll-ups from them.”

Now quit for over three years, Stephen says: “I’ll never go back to smoking as I feel amazing.I feel clean inside, food tastes much better and I have more energy so I go to the gym now.The kids are much happier too which makes it all worth it.”

Currently 15.5 per cent of people in Hertfordshire smoke. Whilst this is lower than the national average, it is still too high and it is a key priority to help residents reduce the harm from tobacco and live healthier, happier lives.

Most people are well aware of the effects of smoking on their lungs, but are less aware of the awful impact it also has on the heart and arteries.It increases the risk of heart disease by a quarter and doubles the risk of heart attack or stroke.

CVD includes all diseases of the heart and circulation.It is usually associated with the build-up of fatty deposits clogging up the arteries that can block the flow of blood to vital organs and eventually cause fatal heart attacks and strokes.The disease is one of the main causes of death and disability in the country and stopping smoking is the single best thing a smoker can do to protect their heart.

If you are not quite ready to quit, or don’t yet feel you want to give up nicotine, e-cigarettes offer a way of reducing the harm from smoking.

For information about how Hertfordshire’s Stop Smoking Services can help you give up smoking, including advice about e-cigarettes, please text SMOKEFREE to 80818, call 0800 389 3 998 or visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk.org/stopsmoking

To watch the PHE video search ‘Smokefree’ online.

Hertfordshire County Council urges people to consider their health

 

More than eight out of 10 of middle-aged people either weigh too much, drink too much or don’t exercise enough, as new analysis from Public Health England out today shows that modern life is taking its toll on our health.

That’s why Hertfordshire County Council is supporting Public Health England’s (PHE) One You campaign, which reaches out to the 83 per cent of 40 to 60 year olds who are either overweight or obese, exceed the Chief Medical Officer’s alcohol guidelines or are physically inactive, to provide free support and tools to help them live more healthily in 2017 and beyond.

Modern life is harming the health of the nation: Nationally, 77 per cent of men and 63 per cent of women in middle age are overweight or obese. Obesity in adults has shot up 16 per cent in the last 20 years. Many also can’t identify what a ‘healthy’ body looks like, suggesting that obesity has become the new normal.

The diabetes rate in Hertfordshire is also increasing and obese adults are more than five times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who are a healthy weight (a body mass index between 18.5 and 25). Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications such as amputation, blindness, heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.

Hertfordshire residents are being urged to take a moment to consider their health and the simple steps they can take to improve it this New Year, by taking the One You online quiz.

The quiz, called ‘How Are You’, takes your lifestyle information, gives you a health score and then links to free localised, personalisable information, apps and tools.

Nationally, more than 1.1 million people have taken the quiz so far and where appropriate, have been directed to apps like Couch to 5K, Alcohol Checker and Easy Meals. Nearly a quarter of a million people have subsequently downloaded Couch to 5K.

These sit alongside PHE’s other online tools like the Heart Age tool which gives you your ‘heart age’ based on you age and lifestyle and residents are also encouraged to take up their NHS Health Check invitation when they receive it.

Search ‘One You’ to take the ‘How Are You’ online health quiz.

Hertfordshire County Council Love Your Bump campaign scoops national award

 

A campaign run by Hertfordshire County Council to encourage women to give up smoking during pregnancy has won a national award.
Hertfordshire’s ‘Love your Bump’ campaign scooped ‘Best Campaign’ at the Comms 2Point0 UnAwards, which aim to recognise the best practise in communications.

Love Your Bump encourages pregnant women and those around them such as partners, family and friends, to quit smoking.

It was developed with midwives and pregnant women who smoked to make sure the right messages were communicated in a way that promoted conversations about stopping smoking. Women wanted to be told the truth about the harm caused by smoking and what would happen once they agreed to receive help.

A pregnancy trained stop smoking adviser will provide help and support every step of the way, and for as long as needed. The service is completely free for pregnant women and others, but a prescription charge may be payable if not exempt.

Midwife Sharon Stevens said: “The campaign definitely changed my practice.Every midwife should discuss smoking with pregnant mums but it is a very difficult conversation to have and knowing how to raise the issue – and how to help – was difficult before.This campaign made the subject much more visible and easier to talk about in a supportive, non-judgemental way, and it equipped me with the tools I needed to really help.”

Hertfordshire’s Stop Smoking Service provides free, local stop smoking support and advice on treatment options to anyone wanting to give up. Text SMOKEFREE to 80818, call 0800 389 3 998 or visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/stopsmoking

Partnerships

Top marks for new health and wellbeing roadshow for schools

Almost 300 students from Borehamwood's Yavneh College have taken part in the first of a series of health and wellbeing roadshows being organised for secondary schools in the borough.

Funded by the Health and Wellbeing Board's public health fund, Yavneh College chose 'resilience' as the focus for its roadshow.

The roadshow was run for Year 10 and 11 students in preparation for taking exams, aimed at helping them deal with the stresses that often go hand in hand with exam time.

The Arc theatre company was commissioned to deliver an interactive play about resilience. This was followed by a market place of local agencies and services on hand to help and support the students. These included Hertsmere Leisure, which was offering free swimming sessions for the rest of term; Tobacco Control; School Health; Kooth; Youth Connexions and A-DASH.

Keeping fit and well, as well as knowing where to go for practical and emotional support, is crucial to enabling young people to thrive both in their school environment and at home.

A video of the day can be viewed here: https://www.hertsmere.gov.uk/Community/Youth-Projects/Youth-Events.aspx


If other secondary schools in the borough would like to have a similar Health and Wellbeing Roadshow, please contact Loran Kingston in the Partnerships and Community Engagement team. Email partnerships@hertsmere.gov.uk or call 020 8207 7801

On the Move

Increasing participation in physical activity in order to help tackle obesity is a key priority for our local communities.

That’s why CVS Broxbourne and East Herts has recently launched a project called On the Move.

The project is for children aged between 4 and 7 years who are at risk of becoming overweight or obese through low levels of physical activity.  It aims to help those who find it difficult to access physical activity, perhaps because they lack confidence, are left out or not chosen for school sports teams.

The project involves a programme of physical activity and multi-sport sessions which involves three 45 minutes sessions each week (e.g. swimming, exercise classes and family walks) as well as healthy cooking workshops aimed at the whole family.

The Broxbourne-based programme began in October 2016 and will continue until June 2017, hoping to reach 80 children in that time.

It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ approach and a range of methods are used to build the confidence, self-esteem and enthusiasm of the participants and ensure the support of parents, who are invited in to some sessions and encouraged to participate in the cooking workshops.

Participants are also signposted to local activities already taking place to ensure sustainability.

For more information contact michal@cvsbeh.org.uk or 0300 123 1034

Because you’re worth it! A St Albans project to support older residents

A St Albans CVS run project called ‘Because you are worth it’ invites older residents, particularly those who are isolated or financially disadvantaged, to attend one of five free community lunches being held around the district.

Attendees watch a film about the many free services and items available to help them stay independent in their own home and hear talks from Age UK, HCC’s Herts Healthy Homes service, the CAB and other support agencies.

They get to enjoy a free two course meal from Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS - formerly Meals on Wheels), enter a free raffle and get a free goodybag with useful treats and a mug with the contact number for Herts Help and the St Albans Old People’s Trust, which they are encouraged to call to get further support.

Those taking part are asked individually by one of the project volunteers what would improve their life.  The volunteers then try to help address these requests through onward referral to another voluntary group or with a grant from St Albans Old People’s Trust.

Everyone receives an instant polaroid picture of themselves to remind them that they are worth it!

So far the project has actioned many requests for help, including transport to hospital, heating costs, boiler servicing, introduction to a lunch club, decorating tasks and installation of grab rails.

Feedback from the 65 people who attended the first two lunches was very positive.  They were surprised by the range of free help available and the goodwill towards them from HCC and the voluntary groups.  Some were also surprised that by asking for help it didn’t mean they would be seen as incapable of continuing to live independently.

If an older person is unable or unwilling to come to a lunch, a home visit to discuss their ‘wish list’ can be arranged in the St Albans District.

The next lunches are:

18 January: London Colney

10 February: St Albans

13 February: Harpenden


To refer someone to the project contact Nikki Casey on 01727 814644. Booking is essential. 

Health for Kids and Health for Teens - new websites on the way

Hertfordshire’s Health for Kids and Health for Teens websites will launch on 16 January 2017.

Health for Kids is a new website which provides a wealth of health information for children between the ages of 4 and 11. There are activities for parents, carers and teachers to enjoy with children as well as advice to support their development. Visit www.healthforkids.co.uk  

Health for Teens is aimed at young people between the ages of 11 and 19 and includes signposting to health and support services within Hertfordshire. Not only will it provide local health updates, events and information, it will also contain the contact details of all School Nursing teams across the county and signposting to relevant services.   You can have a look at the website here: www.healthforteens.co.uk

Three website launch events are taking place in mid-February and all secondary schools have been invited to participate. The events promise to be exciting, interactive and will provide pupils with detailed information on how to get access to reliable and evidence-based health advice. They will feature a range of age-appropriate activities that will give young people access to the information they need to stay healthy.  They will also promote the ChatHealth texting service provided by the School Nursing service.

If you would like further information or have any questions please call Lynda Edwards, Clinical Lead for School Nursing on 07880 782363.

 

Mental Health

New help for women suffering from perinatal mental health

A new specialist team to support new mothers and pregnant women with moderate to severe mental health difficulties is being set up in Hertfordshire.

The county’s two NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCG) have been given national NHS funds to develop a specialist service offering pre-pregnancy counselling to women with mental ill health and supporting new mums with conditions like severe postnatal depression.

The new community mental health service will be delivered over the next three years by local mental health services provider, Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT).

“Figures suggest that at least 400 women in Hertfordshire have severe mental health needs in the weeks before and after birth, with another 1,375 having mild to moderate needs,” explained Cameron Ward, Herts Valleys CCG Accountable Officer.

“The CCGs are working in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council to increase the support for parents-to-be and new parents showing signs of problems like depression or anxiety.”

The service will support mothers who are unwell, their babies and partners, working alongside GPs, obstetricians and gynaecologists, midwives and health visitors already working with women to prevent their condition deteriorating.

Maria Bavetta, from the Maternal Mental Health Alliance Everyone’s Business Campaign, which calls for all women throughout the UK who experience perinatal mental health problems to receive the care they and their families need, wherever and whenever they need it, said: “I visited Hertfordshire earlier this year and was so impressed that so many different professionals were determined to make the mental health of new families a priority in the county. A specialist community team will provide women, their partners and families much-needed local accessible services.”

Watch this space for more information about when the team is fully set up and ready to take referrals.

Hertfordshire delivers innovative mental health programmes for children and young people

Hertfordshire County Council and NHS organisations have welcomed the government’s announcement that it plans to unveil measures to help schools in England tackle mental illness.

In Hertfordshire, we are leading the way when it comes to close working with schools to improve emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people.

Cabinet Member for Public Health, Localism and Libraries, Teresa Heritage, said: “The mental health of young people is of paramount importance and the earlier we identify any potential concerns, the better. We are working closely with schools to promote positive messages and practice around mental health to help young people develop their self-esteem and wellbeing.”

More than 400 Herts professionals, including school and college professionals, Youth Connexions staff, social workers and residential care workers, have been trained in youth mental health first aid (MHFA), which raises awareness of emotional health issues and teaches how best to support 8 to 18 year-olds experiencing difficulties.

Although Hertfordshire’s children enjoy higher than UK average levels of wellbeing and attainment at least one child in 10 has a diagnosable mental health problem. This equates to three children in every class. The most common mental health issues affecting children include conduct disorders, anxiety, depression and hyperkinetic disorder (severe ADHD).

Initially 20 Hertfordshire schools joined last year’s national pilot scheme to improve links between schools and NHS mental health services, including Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Hertfordshire’s two NHS clinical commissioning groups’ (CCGs) CAMHS schools link managers are supporting schools, giving training, helping them develop pastoral work, improving processes and providing resources to help them respond better to pupils’ emotional wellbeing needs, as part of Hertfordshire’s five-year CAMHS Transformation plan. Some 203 professionals from 61 schools have attended dedicated training in the last eight months.

“A huge amount of work has already been done with schools across Hertfordshire to aid the positive work staff do to support pupils’ emotional and mental wellbeing,” said Cameron Ward, interim accountable officer at Herts Valleys CCG, who chairs Hertfordshire’s Children and Young People’s Emotional and Mental Wellbeing Board. “Hertfordshire’s five-year CAMHS Transformation plan recognises the importance of early help to prevent young people from having problems later in life.”

Hertfordshire County Council is one of the first local authorities in the country to train Youth Health Champions in secondary schools - where teenagers help their fellow pupils explore and understand a range of issues, from mental health problems to alcohol misuse and physical health. To date, we have trained 118 students across the county and have another 25 starting their training this month. Further courses on emotional wellbeing will be offered by Youth Connexions to all secondary schools over the next few months.

We also launched an innovative new programme for young people in Hertfordshire libraries to help them understand and manage their wellbeing and emotional life. ‘Shelf Help: Reading Well for Young People’, was devised by health experts and a panel of young people who have experienced mental health issues, and offers a recommended reading list of 35 books.

This provides 13-18 year-olds with high-quality information, support and advice on a wide-range of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm, and difficult life pressures, such as bullying and exams.

This work builds on the success of last year’s Hertfordshire Year of Mental Health, designed to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination, help people get better access to treatment and care, and gain parity of access to treatment for both mental and physical health.

Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health and Chairman of Hertfordshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board, Colette Wyatt-Lowe, said: “The Hertfordshire Year of Mental made some fantastic steps in the right direction. Our challenge now is to build on these achievements and to ensure that good mental health remains a top priority for years to come.”

Throughout the year:
· 510 pledges were made to raise awareness of mental health issues
· 14 councillors signed up to become Mental Health Champions
· 12 mental health focused events were held
· 53 new partnerships were made with mental health focused organisations

The CCGs and council are working together to deliver Hertfordshire’s £2m CAMHS Transformation plan to improve emotional wellbeing services for children and young people over five years. You can read Hertfordshire’s Transformation Plan for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing 2015-17 here.

 

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Public Health masterclass

Hertfordshire County Council is running a masterclass about the importance of public and patient involvement in the research and development of health and social care services.

Taking place from 2-4pm on Wednesday 8 February at the University of Hertfordshire, the free event is for anyone working with patients and service users in the statutory, private or voluntary sector.

The masterclass will look at the benefits and challenges of public and patient involvement in research and education and will use examples from specific health-related projects, including diabetes, arthritis, cystic fibrosis and dementia.

Involving people who use health and social care services in the research process can enhance the quality and impact of research findings.  Collaborative working in activities such as the recruitment of new students, curriculum development, classroom teaching and assessment can enhance the knowledge and skills of health and social care students.

If you are interested in attending, please register for this event please register via the Masterclass Eventbrite page - found here.  You will need the password to access the registration page - the password is masterclass2017.

Alternatively email publichealth@hertfordshire.gov.uk or call 01438 844 088.

 

 

Public Health Conference 2017

The Public Health Conference will take place on 22 February 2017.

The theme for the 2017 conference is ‘Evidence into Practice - Improving Population Health’

Keynote speakers:

  • Professor Theresa Marteau : Behaviour Change By Design
  • Professor Eugene Milne : Improving health within increasingly challenging financial constraints
  • Professor Wendy Wills : Whole systems approaches in public health practice

For more information, and to register please visit the website

Please feel free to share the details with your networks

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities spring term course

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) is a 13 week course run by trained facilitators.  It is for parents with children between the ages of 8-16 years who are concerned their child is drifting into anti-social behaviour/offending behaviour or are at risk of escalation into specialist services.

The next SFSC course will start on Thursday 16 March 2017, 10am – 1pm, B3 Living Community Room, Walnut Tree Close, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, EN11 8NB.

This course is open to all families living in Broxbourne and East Hertfordshire; however spaces are limited to 12 parents.

If you would like to refer a parent, please complete the referral form at: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/parentingsupport

Taxis and support for childcare will be considered on a case by case basis. Please email SFSC.Referrals@hertfordshire.gov.uk for any parents requiring extra support.

New Equality & Diversity Strategy 2016-2020 launched

The new Equality and Diversity Strategy for Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) was published in December. 

It sets out the commitment and approach over the next four years to tackling inequality and promoting diversity across HCC. It’s available here: http://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/your-council/hcc/resandperf/panditech/eandd/

‘Better Relationships, Better Parenting’ – free conference

Improving inter-parental relationships in Hertfordshire conference:

2 March 2017
9.30 – 4.30pm
Hertfordshire Development Centre, Stevenage

If you work with families in Hertfordshire – this conference is for you!

Children’s exposure to conflict between their parents – whether parents are together or separated – can put children’s mental health and long-term life chances at risk. Explore how we can all play a role in improving relationships between parents for the benefit of children and young people at this informative free conference.

Book your place here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/better-relationships-better-parenting-tickets-30036107807

Email css@hertfordshire.gov.uk for any queries or visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/familiesfirst

East and North Hertfordshire CCG’s telephone numbers are changing

Please be aware that from Monday 23 January, East and North Hertfordshire CCG’s landline telephone numbers are changing.

Their new switchboard number will be 01707 685 000. Please update your records accordingly. Please note that mobile numbers will remain the same.

New Year, New Challenge

This New Year why not challenge yourself to take part in something new and raise funds for a local charity?

The Saracens Sport Foundation is inspiring communities and changing lives through the power of sport. Through sport we aim to improve the life chances of everyone we work with across Hertfordshire and London. All of our programmes aim to engage and challenge participants to lead active, healthy and rewarding lifestyles and we support their aspirations for personal achievement. We reach out to some of the most disadvantaged people in our community including isolated older people, excluded and vulnerable young people and young people with disabilities.

Challenge: North London Half Marathon

Date: 12th March 2017

Fundraising target: £250

About: The North London Half Marathon is a firm favourite in the Foundation events calendar, incorporating Allianz Park (home of the Saracens) as the half way point, runners start and finish the 13.1 mile journey inside Wembley Stadium in the ultimate stadium to stadium half marathon. A perfect way to kick start the new year!

London Marathon

Using sport and the Saracens brand to enhance health and education, the Saracens Sport Foundation is dedicated to inclusion and using sport in its broadest sense to bring about positive change within its community. Through sport we aim to improve the life chances of everyone we work with. Working across London and Hertfordshire all our programmes aim to engage and challenge participants to lead active, healthy and rewarding lifestyles and we support their aspirations for personal achievement. We reach out to some of the most disadvantaged people in our community including isolated older people, excluded and vulnerable children and young people and autistic young people.

Challenge: London Marathon

Date: 23rd April 2017

Fundraising target: £2,000 plus

About the challenge: More than just one of the top five World Marathon Majors, the Virgin London Marathon is a celebratory sporting festival that attracts professional athletes, enthusiastic joggers and costume-wearing charity fundraisers alike. With just 3 spaces left on the Foundation Marathon team, get in contact quickly to avoid disappointment.

If you are interested in applying for one of these places, please contact Holly Pitt, Fundraising Manager on foundationinfo@saracens.net 02036757243.

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