Council leaders ‘Can Do’ attitude on Mental Health

Senior Somerset County Council staff took part in the ‘Can Do’ challenge this Men’s Health Week (14-20 June) in a bid to encourage others.

The ‘Can Do’ challenge, launched by the Men’s Health Forum, is a great way to boost mental wellbeing. It combined the five days of the campaign with the five ways of wellbeing.

The five ways to wellbeing can help you remember and learn how to look after your wellbeing. They are based on evidence from around the globe.

The Council is encouraging all Somerset residents to choose a different way to wellbeing and try them out:

The five ways are:

  1. Connect – connect with other people (e.g. call an old friend you haven’t since before lockdown) #connectmonday
  2. (Be) Active – move your body (e.g. go for a run/walk/swim/dance/etc) #activetuesday
  3. Notice – take notice of the environment around you (e.g. turn off your phone for an hour) #noticewednesday
  4. Discover – learn something new (e.g. read a book you haven’t read before) #discoverthursday
  5. Offer (or give) – do something for someone else (e.g. volunteer for a local community group) #offerfriday

For Friday’s finale of the campaign, everyone was encouraged to wear blue and support the men’s health message by sharing selfies of themselves in their blue attire on social media, using the hashtag #SomersetBlueFriday.

Chair of Somerset County Council, Councillor Nigel Taylor, said: “As coronavirus restrictions continue to ease it is perfectly normal to feel anxious as we become accustomed with the ‘new normal’.

“The ‘Can Do’ challenge has been the perfect opportunity for everyone to learn and practice the five ways to wellbeing – techniques which are invaluable to us all in combating anxiety in a nervous world.”

“I have been practicing my ways to wellbeing this week and I encourage you all to have a go.”

David Partlow, Somerset County Council Adult Social Care Strategic Manager, has also written a blog where he talks about the emotional rollercoaster of working in high stress, frontline jobs, how he dealt with that pressure and his introduction to the Five Ways of Wellbeing – principles of support he was already unconsciously using in his life. It can be read at

For his ‘be active’ way to wellbeing he ran 6 miles a day and increased this to 10 miles at the end of the week.

Men’s health Week seeks to focus on important health issues impacting on men. This year one of the key messages is – if you are not feeling great, the thing is not to ignore it. It can be tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse.

If you are feeling anxious and need to talk to someone, Mindline is a confidential listening service, which is open 24 hours a day – 01823 276 892.