Today, 4th February 2016, is Time to Change’s #TimeToTalk Day. It is a day where they encourage us to start conversations about mental health (For more information see their website on the useful websites page). Therefore today I thought I’d discuss why I personally feel #TimeToTalk day is necessary and a great thing in the fight against stigma of those with mental health issues.
My own battle with mental health issues started when I was still at school. It was something I felt ashamed of at the start. No one else I knew seemed to struggle the way I did and it was definitely not covered in any of our PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) lessons at the time. I thought I was strange and useless as no one discussed that sometimes things go wrong with your brain. I felt isolated from my peers.
This is why #TimeToTalk day is so important. It encourages us to have these conversations. It makes us aware of what is going on in our heads and that sometimes we might need support with what we are dealing with. It makes us feel less isolated from the people around us as we realise we are not the only people to feel this way. It also helps others understand what we are going through and highlights the issues we face.
Another great thing about #TimeToTalk day is that it brings conversations about mental health into places where we are most afraid of discussing it, for example schools and places of work. These are places where I have experienced stigma the most but with the help of #TimeToTalk day would feel more confident starting a conversation about mental health.
#TimeToTalk day highlights mental health which can only be a good thing. Especially as campaign for equality with physical health and for the introduction of mental health education. So if you can please start a conversation this #TimeToTalk day. You never know who you might help.