This week (15-21 November) is Self Care Week, and people across the Black Country and West Birmingham are being encouraged to look after their health and wellbeing.

Self Care Week is an annual initiative organised by the Self Care Forum that focuses on helping people look after their own health. This year’s theme is ‘practice self care for life’.

 Whether it’s helping people manage long term conditions or making lifestyle choices that will ensure better physical health and mental wellbeing, the week aims to highlight the huge benefits of people looking after themselves better.

As part of the week, people are also being reminded to keep medicine cabinets fully stocked this winter and to manage minor, short-term conditions at home or by visiting a local pharmacy where possible.

Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for BCWB CCG, said: “Self Care Week is a great opportunity for us to look at health across the spectrum, from coughs, colds and flu to self care for long term condition like diabetes, heart disease and lung conditions, so people can help manage their own health needs.

“We all have a personal responsibility to look after our own health. Self care can be as simple as eating healthily, treating minor ailments yourself at home and taking steps towards a healthy lifestyle to help reduce your chance of developing preventable conditions.

“We all make so many decisions every day that have impact on our health, and improving our self care is about tweaking these decisions a little bit each time until we start to notice the benefits.

“By supporting people to help themselves, we can not only improve the quality of life for individuals, but also use NHS services even more effectively, particularly with winter approaching when we know our services face increased demands.”

The NHS asks people to help us help you this winter by visiting your pharmacist first for minor ailments, or using 111.nhs.uk as a first step to check your symptoms and find out which service is most appropriate for your needs (those without internet access can call 111).

You can find more information and resources on self care here