Making every contact count (MECC)

Brief interventions to improve health

Too many people die early and live in poor health due to largely avoidable diseases and illnesses. The most common killer diseases include cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory and liver disease and many are directly related to lifestyle (e.g. what we eat and drink, whether we smoke, how active we are).

By making small lifestyle changes, people can feel significantly better, live more satisfying lives and be healthy for longer.

Brief interventions, focusing on evidence-based messages about stopping smoking, drinking alcohol sensibly, increasing physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, a healthy diet and mental wellbeing are effective in supporting people to live healthier lives.

MECC is a way of building on the conversations that we are already having with patients, service users or members of the public and looking out for appropriate opportunities to encourage people to lead healthier lifestyles.

Who is MECC for?

MECC is an approach that can be delivered by anyone who works with patients, service users or members of the public. It doesn’t matter where you work, or what role you have; it’s about making the most of opportunities that come up in the conversations and interactions that you are already having in your day to day work.

How does MECC work?

The MECC programme involves:

  • Using a person-centred approach and basic behaviour change skills.
  • Delivering brief interventions, focusing on evidence-based messages about stopping smoking, drinking alcohol sensibly, increasing physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, a healthy diet and mental wellbeing.
  • Informing people about or referring them to local health and wellbeing services, where appropriate.

How do I learn more about MECC?

A series of e-learning modules can be found on the Health Education England website.

What resources are available to support you?

  • Level 1 Toolkit (Very Brief Intervention)
  • Level 2 Toolkit (Brief Intervention)
  • MECC West Sussex Resource Directory (signposting information)
  • MECC West Sussex Resource Directory pen (signposting information)
  • MECC ‘Key Health Messages’ poster 

The Public Health West Sussex contact for MECC is Dan Barritt (Tel: 03302226308 /email). Contact Dan for more information and copies of the above resources.

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