Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's Acting Chief Execuitve, Ifti Majid, is urging the county’s residents to start a conversation with friends and family about their emotions and mental wellbeing this Thursday (4 February).
The call comes as part of Time to Talk Day - a national campaign aimed to get as many people as possible across England talking about mental health. The annual occasion is organised by Time to Change - the mental health anti-stigma programme run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness - and this year, the English counties will be pitted against one another to see which region can have the most conversations.
Ifti, a mental health nurse by background, said: “One in four people experience mental health problems and many of those face stigma and discrimination as a result. On Time to Talk Day I would like to encourage local individuals and organisations to come together and show that talking about this once-taboo issue does not need to be difficult or scary.
“Having these all important conversations can make a big difference to many people and it’s only when we start talking about the issue that we see stigma and discrimination being reduced. Even the smallest of conversations can have a huge impact on someone’s wellbeing.”
Continuing the conversation of mental health
Staff and volunteers from Derbyshire Healthcare will continue the conversation started on Time to Talk Day by hosting an exhibition stand at the Royal Derby Hospital in Derby on Friday (5 February). The specialists will be available to speak to patients, carers and hospital visitors to raise awareness of the various mental health issues, offer advice on how best to support someone feeling low and break down the stigma associated with certain conditions. Representatives from the local charity Rethink will also partner up with Derbyshire Healthcare on the day to share information about local self-help groups as well as support available in the community.
"The more we talk, the more we share, the more 'normal' mental health will become"
Leanne, a young person from Derbyshire who has been supported by the Trust’s child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) team explains why it’s so important to talk about mental health. She said: “Mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. Just like physical health, it is something we all have and sometimes in our life we struggle with it, some more than others. It’s up to us, the people that make up society to share our experiences. By doing this we let other people see that they are not alone. When people think or feel alone with something, they are less likely to talk about it or get help because everybody wants to belong and wants to fit in. The more we talk, the more we share, the more ‘normal’ mental health will become. It’s like a Mexican wave; it cannot be done on its own, but it takes one person to start it.”
"Lets get talking..."
Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, said: “We know that stigma is still having a huge impact on how people feel about themselves and holding back their lives. We have got to continue to make progress, show that mental health isn’t something to be ashamed of and tackle the causes of stigma and discrimination.
“On the 4th February we’ll be holding our third Time to Talk Day. Having a day when we encourage the nation to talk about mental health collectively can give people the confidence to have these conversations and show that you don’t have to be an expert on mental health. We need to replace silence and stigma with talking, greater understanding and support.”
For information about Time to Talk Day and to record your conversations online please visit: www.time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday