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Time to Talk Day – How can you get involved?

Thursday, February 1st, 2018 | Blog

Today is Time to Talk Day, a day dedicated to encouraging people to talk more openly about mental health. Started in 2014 on the first Thursday in February, it has ignited millions of conversations in schools, homes, workplaces, the media and online. This year’s theme is Anytime, anywhere, talk about mental health. It is easy to think that there is no right time and place to talk about mental health. This often means that for those suffering with mental illness are made to feel isolated and ashamed.

Time to Talk Day is organised by Time to Change (a partnership between mental health charities, Mind and Rethink) which aims to break the silence around discussing mental health. 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental illness each year with 60% saying the stigma and discrimination were as damaging as the symptoms of the illness itself. Discussing mental health more openly is vital in helping to challenge stereotypes, improve relationships and aid in recovery, Time to Talk Day believe.

As well as opening up to friends and family, Time to Talk Day aims to encourage having these conversations in the workplace and to talk about mental wellbeing more openly with colleagues and employers.

Statistics show that mental illness is the leading cause of sickness absence, with 95% of employees calling in sick with stress giving a different reason. Employers looking after the mental health of their employers can make a big difference to sickness absences, staff wellbeing and productivity.

Thankfully, attitudes towards mental health are changing. A better awareness and education have meant that people diagnosed with a mental illness are treated more professionally and ethically than there were in the 20th Century. Despite this, there is still a long way to go to fight this stigma.

Below, we highlight some simple ways you can get involved in the Time to Talk Day to help break the stigma.

How can you get involved?

  • Start a conversation

Starting a conversation is one of the biggest challenges when talking about mental health. There are certain situations where this can be less stressful. Why not invite someone to go for a walk on your lunch break, or perhaps grab a coffee? While you’re out ask how they are feeling and if there is anything they would like to talk about. This small gesture can go long way in making the person feel more open to talk about their mental health if they know there is somebody willing to listen to them.

  • Use social media

Discussions don’t necessarily need to take place face to face, people can get involved in the conversations on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #timetotalk. Social media is also very useful for starting conversations where people feel like they cannot talk to anyone in person. So why don’t you talk to that friend you’ve been meaning to contact for a while, they might need your support.

  • Hold an event

Hosting an event in the community such as a coffee morning, arts and craft session or even a pub quiz are all good ways to raise awareness and create a space for people to talk about mental health. You could also invite local charities and support groups who are there to talk anyone who needs help. There are lots of resources available on the Time to Talk Day website to help you get started.

These simple ways you can get involved can make a big difference to someone struggling with mental illness and help to break the stigma once and for all.

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