Time to Talk Day 2022
There is still a lingering stigma around talking about our mental health. For many, it remains a taboo topic that can be ignored and swept under the proverbial carpet. Some are fearful of opening up about their negative feelings, often afraid of being rejected by peers and loved ones.
We need to drive change in our cultural norms and improve our conversations about how we feel. It isn’t a sign of weakness to admit we are struggling; it takes true inner strength to open up and be vulnerable.
Mental health issues can take a multitude of forms; not everyone has the same experience, yet the treatment is often the same: cognitive behavioural therapy to change negative thinking patterns and behaviours, as well as discussing how we feel.
But… if only we had talked about it earlier? What good would that do?
February 3rd is Time to Talk Day, one of the UK’s biggest mental health conversations. Run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, Time to Talk Day aims to strengthen and raise awareness and create supportive communities by encouraging us to talk to our family, friends and colleagues about mental health.
One in four of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year. Time to Talk Day seeks to create spaces where we can talk openly about our mental wellbeing, and empower us to seek help.
It can be hard to know how to start such a conversation. Time to Talk Day has created some helpful tips, such as asking open questions, talking side by side rather than face to face, and simply listening. Maybe you can discuss your favourite mental health podcasts, or the things that help you to boost your mood.
Community conversations will be taking place across the country on February 3rd, providing an opportunity for people to learn more about mental health issues and a platform to assess what steps can be taken to improve mental wellbeing in their families, schools and communities.
There are plenty of ways to get involved in Time to Talk Day. You could host a tea and talk gathering in your community centre, put some posters up on a community notice board, or run a lunch and learn in the office. It can be as simple as texting or calling a friend.
We know that conversations about mental health have the power to change lives. As well as treatment, we need to take a preventative approach to mental health issues. We need to consider our mental wellbeing as important as our physical health.
So, go ahead and start a conversation. It’s time to talk!