I decided to launch this site today on the 1st February to coincide with Time to Talk Day, it just made perfect sense to add to the conversation via this new platform. Hopefully over the next 24 hours our feeds will be filled with open discussions, people offering tools and services to make people’s everyday lives a bit easier.
There are also many events going on all across England to help tackle discrimination, run by a variety of other organisations. Find out if there’s one near you using the map feature on the Time to Change website.
If you are passionate about working with young people to create an open, supportive culture around mental health, where people feel comfortable to open up about whatever they may be dealing with, the site has numerous resources to help. They have session plans, videos, blogs, signposting to mental health services and loads of fantastic free materials to download. If you’ve left it a bit late why not just take a peek for some inspiration for some last minute additions to your group activities or to help guide lessons in the year ahead. Despite it being time to talk day, we obviously want to encourage this every single day.
There are so many great tips on the site, so make sure you head on over, but I thought I’d share this particularly simple and easily digestible advice on how to get the conversation going.
1. Start small
Many people find talking in person intimidating, and that’s understandable. But it doesn’t need to stop you from starting a conversation altogether. You could make a quick phone call, send your best mate a text, or leave a note for a parent.
2. Find a good time & place
Sometimes it’s easier to talk side by side rather than face to face. So, if you do talk in person, you might want to chat while you are doing something else. You could start a conversation when you’re walking, cooking or stuck in traffic.
3. Ask questions (gently!)
There are lots of misconceptions around mental illness. That means asking questions can be an important way of learning. Just remember not to get too personal, and be aware if the discussion is making someone feel uncomfortable.
4. Be open
5. Treat them the same
When someone is diagnosed with a mental illness, they’re still the same person as they were before. And that means when a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don’t want to be treated any differently . If you want to support them, keep it simple. Do the things you’d normally do.
Let me know in the comments how you are thinking of contributing to the day.