HEALTH chiefs are encouraging residents to enhance their mental wellbeing as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Public Health Dorset and LiveWell Dorset have created the Five Ways Challenge which guides participants through five steps to improve their mental wellbeing.

It encourages those that take part to find new ways to connect with others virtually, take notice of the present moment, maintain daily physical activity, learn new skills and give kindness to others.

Dorset Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Health, Cllr Laura Miller said: "Our physical and mental health is of the highest priority, particularly at this time of difficulty and uncertainty. Mental health problems can affect anyone, any time.

"Taking part in LiveWell’s Five Ways Challenge as part of Mental Health Awareness week is just what we need to boost our emotional, physical and mental health."

The theme of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness and aims to raise awareness of mental health and inspire action to support those experiencing a mental health problem.

Kindness was chosen for the 2020 theme as a tribute to the individuals and organisations that have shown incredible acts of kindness in the face of such a difficult and isolating period during the coronavirus pandemic, for example, Captain Tom Moore, who raised over £32m for charity.

Over 1,900 people have already taken part in the week-long Five Ways Challenge and a survey showed that 87% of respondents found the challenge helpful.

The challenge is based on the Five Steps to Wellbeing which is a collection of simple actions that can be taken to boost mental wellbeing.

The first step in the Five Ways Challenge is to be active. Dorset residents are encouraged to get moving to boost mood, build confidence and enjoy a hobby.

The second step is to connect with other people through any means of communication. Despite the lockdown rules prohibiting physical contact with those from another household, video calls are still an easy way of keeping in touch with friends and family.

The third is to take notice, slow down and pay attention to your thoughts and feelings.

The fourth is to keep learning, challenge your mind and learn a new skill.

The fifth and final step is to give to someone else, share with others or do a good deed.

LiveWell Dorset is a behaviour change service that guides residents to make lifestyle changes to keep them healthier for longer. Provided by Public Health Dorset; a partnership of Dorset Council and BCP Council; it supports the wider healthcare system as the public are signposted Dorset's single point of access service.

For more information and to join the Five Ways Challenge, visit