Today is Time to Talk Day 2018, an initiative pioneered by Time to Change, a UK based organisation who are creating a growing social movement which aims to change how we all think and act about mental health. I still find it hard to believe, but even now their are too many people made to feel ashamed or isolated because they have a mental health problem. Time to Change has set out to make a difference. They believe this is the generation for change and by joining together, we can make sure that more people are open to talking and listening about mental health problems than ever before. This is where Time to Talk day was born – a day to demonstrate how it doesn’t need to be difficult to have a conversation about mental health and showing that we can all talk about this subject anywhere.
It is a topic which is very close to my heart and I have been in that isolated bubble where you are never sure where to turn. I am in a constant battle and wrote about this publicly for the first time almost a year ago to the day. I had never talked to anyone outside my (very small!) circle of trust, so having my blog published on the Time to Change website was a massive step for me. However, I found strength to do this from all the amazing and courageous stories I read surrounding Time to Talk Day 2017. But a year later and there are still too many people suffering in silence.
However, everyone has the power to help brighten someones day.
Time to Talk Day teaches us that it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, be difficult to start a conversation about mental health. Too often, it’s left to people with mental health problems to talk about mental health – a taboo subject to talk about in public – but as I said in my blog last year, mental health affects us all, and everyone should feel able to talk about it. However, it can be difficult to know where to start, but starting is the key. If we all start with one small conversation, can you imagine the positive impact we could all make? And that small conversation which you may think means nothing, or won’t make a difference, may in fact do the exact opposite and give someone who needs to talk the power to do so.
There is tonnes of information over on the Time to Change website and lots of top tips on how to start conversations about mental health and how you can help individuals who might be struggling. I’ve included their top tips flyer down below which provides some great starting points, but you can find out so much more here.
Altogether, if you take any message away from today, let it be this. Simple things make a huge difference. A small action can mean so much. It may seem insignificant to you, but that one small action may brighten someones day in a way you didn’t expect! It’s often not the elaborate gestures, however lovely, which make the most difference, it’s the small actions. Sending someone a text – a little gesture which can make a huge impact. For me personally, a text or small message is a good reminder that I am not alone, that someone does care and they have my back.
So please help us take a step closer to removing the stigma around mental health. Get involved, be kind and take action – it’s the little things that count.