Taking time to talk is good for your mental health

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Local health commissioners have joined forces with Sefton Council and Sefton Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) to support Time to Talk Day, encouraging people to be more open about mental health.

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS South Sefton CCG and Sefton Council are encouraging employees to get together and talk about mental health over a cup of tea. The events are being supported by Sefton CVS who have distributed more than 1500 information packs to employers across the borough detailing how they can encourage employees to open up about mental health.

Time to Talk Day aims to break the taboo associated with discussing mental health issues and to prevent people from feeling isolated. The number of people suffering from anxiety and depression has increased over recent years along with suicide rates. Suicide is now the single biggest killer of males aged under-45 with men accounting for around three quarters of all cases.

Speaking about Time to Talk Day Geraldine O’Carroll, senior integrated commissioning team manager at the CCGs, said: “We want people to feel confident talking about mental health. For far too long, mental health has been a taboo and Time to Talk Day is all about changing that. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, it’s a great opportunity to open up and talk about anything that is on your mind and to encourage your friends, relatives to do the same. It is really important that people seek help early and, although mental health services have been under scrutiny in the media, there is help available.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “This is a fantastic way to challenge mental health stigma in the workplace. Sefton Council’s staff will be embracing this day by having a cup of tea and most importantly, helping to get people talking about their mental health.”

Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Mental Health Champion for Sefton Council, said: “As the mental health champion for elected members, I am pleased to be backing this project. It is important to let people know that it’s okay to talk about mental health, anytime and anyplace, and this campaign is a great way to promote that.”

Jan Campbell, health & wellbeing lead at Sefton CVS, said: “We all experience the negative effects of stigmatizing mental health; one in four people experience mental health problems. Poor mental health can affect relationship with families and friends as well as colleagues and clients. Feeling that you can’t talk about a problem only makes it more difficult to deal with.

“Even if you don’t want to talk about your mental health, having a conversation with someone, connecting with people through conversation is good for your mental health so remember to take time to talk.” 

Time to Talk Day 2018 takes place on Thursday 1 February. Anyone who is struggling with their mental health, or is worried about someone they know, can visit the Access Sefton website for support: http://www.cwp.nhs.uk/services-and-locations/services/access-sefton/