For many people with a mental illness the enduring stigma can make it even harder to cope. Which is why it’s so important to talk about mental health. What’s five minutes out of your day?
When you consider that one in four people in the U.K. experience a mental health problem each year, it’s highly likely that someone close to you — a relative, a friend or a work colleague — is going through some issues with mental health right now. Time to Talk Day aims to encourage people to lift their heads out of the sand, recognise the fact that depression, anxiety and other mental conditions are serious, legitimate illnesses affecting millions of people in the U.K. and start a conversation about it.
By going to time-to-change.org.uk and logging your five minutes you can help them reach their target of 24 hours’ worth of conversation.
How will you have your conversation? Why not reach out to someone you know has struggled with mental health issues in the past? Lend an ear, open your mind and invite them to share their experience. Or speak to your employer about the company’s procedure for supporting staff with mental health conditions. If you have mental illness yourself, and have been dealing with it on your own, why not take the plunge and confide in someone you trust. If you’re not quite there yet join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #TimetoTalk. Even spending five minutes retweeting and sharing relevant content counts.
If you or someone close to you is struggling to cope with mental illness, there are many places to give you advice and support.
The Samaritans provides confidential emotional support, without judgment, for those feeling lonely, distressed or suicidal. Phone 08457 90 90 90 (24 hours a day) or visit samaritans.org.
Mind Infoline gives information on different types of mental illness, treatment options and where to seek help. Phone 0300 123 3393 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday) or visit mind.org.uk/help/advice_lines.
Mind also runs Elefriends, an online community to support those with mental health issues.
Rethink Mental Illness Advice Line is an advice resource for people with mental illness and those who care for them and also helps health professionals, employers and staff. Phone 0300 5000 927 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday) or visit rethink.org/about-us/our-mental-health-advice.