Making Life Better Together

Wellbeing in Belfast

Belfast Strategic Partnership (BSP) has launched its “Take 5 steps to wellbeing Toolkit” as well as recent findings from the “Have Your Say Belfast” survey undertaken in 2016.

Take 5 steps to wellbeing is built on evidence based research carried out by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) that shows you can live up to 7.5 years longer if you build the following five activities into everyday life: Connect, Keep learning, Be active, Take notice and Give.

Funded by the Public Health Agency, the Toolkit has been developed by BSP’s Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Thematic Group (MHEW), a multi-sectoral partnership representing the community, voluntary, statutory and business sectors.  It includes a suite of resources aimed at individuals, families, practitioners, communities and organisations.

Launching the Toolkit, Martin Dillon, Co-chair of Belfast Strategic Partnership and CEO of Belfast Health & Social Care Trust said “Take 5 steps to wellbeing is promotes emotional and physical wellbeing across the city within families, communities, businesses and healthcare facilities.  The Toolkit provides practical resources and tools that people can use in different ways to help maintain and improve their wellbeing”.

“Belfast Health & Social Care Trust welcomes this new resource which will contribute to and enhance the existing work of the Trust to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of people in our city”.

Also launched were the results of the “Have Your Say Belfast” survey; this was undertaken in 2016 and asked local people about their emotional health and wellbeing and that of their family and wider community.  Key results from nearly 5,000 responses shows that over a quarter of people (27%) had received treatment for anxiety or depression in the last year and that nearly 20% of people felt their health had been impacted by the legacy of the conflict.

Séamus Mullen, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement in Belfast with the Public Health Agency (PHA) added: “The responses to the 2016 Have Your Say Belfast survey increased on the last survey we carried out in 2012 and show that people care very much about their wellbeing and what would help them going forward.

“Some of the key points from the Survey show that people generally feel Belfast has ‘got better’ over the last 4 years, however, some communities are clearly showing signs of poor mental health and low levels of connectivity with family and friends. On the other hand those who connect with others, volunteer or feel good in their work or home lives are not indicating the same levels of signs of anxiety or depression.”

Irene Sherry, Chairperson of MHEW said she was delighted to see the work expand.

“Over the last 3 years we have been working to promote the Take 5 messages.  The results of the 2016 survey are telling us that the Take 5 core messages clearly mirror what people say helps them cope with life’s up and downs. The approach resonates because it applies to your sense of physical wellbeing as well as your mental health. I would urge people to use the Take 5 materials because they have been designed with local people in mind. They encourage people of all ages to make small changes in their lives and whatever that may be – going for a walk or learning a new skill – your heart, mind and body will thank you for it in the long run.”

For more information email Jacqueline Frazer, Project Development Officer or telephone 028 9050 2073.

You can download a copy of the Take 5 Toolkit Resources here