On February 1st this year Somerset businesses, community organisations and charities celebrated the 4th annual Time To Talk Day.
The aim of Time To Talk Day is to break the cycle of stigma of mental health issues which all too often prevents people from seeking help by talking about it and this year’s message was no matter where you are you can talk about mental health.
Somerset did the nation proud this year with over 11 different Time To Talk Day pop up events in towns across the county.
Somerset Mental Health Hub Members Chard Watch Project and Heads Up in Wells held open house events offering a cuppa and a chat.
Taunton had the most recorded events in the county this year with events being held by the Taunton Team Chaplaincy, Job Centre plus and Lloyds bank.
Talking of Lloyds bank, branches in Taunton, Wellington, Bridgwater and Yeovil all did their bit this year. A couple of weeks before Bank staff took part in champion training, delivered by Time To Change Somerset, to get them ready and confident for their own Time To Talk Day events.
On the day, bank customers where all treated to a slice of cake and invited to chat to the staff about mental health. Although talking about mental health certainly isn’t something your average bank teller is used to doing on a normal working day, they all agreed that they felt confident and surprised how easy it was to have conversations about mental health and what a worthwhile event they all had. It just goes to show that you don’t have to be an expert to talk about mental health. All you need is that drive to want to break the cycle of stigma.
Even though Time To Talk Day is our landmark day to talk about mental health, it doesn’t need to be the only day in the calendar where we talk about these issues. In the year ahead, Time To Change Somerset is looking to work with a diverse range of local organisations and hub members to run awareness events.
If you, your organization or contacts would like some support to run your own awareness raising events, email me at MarcLewis@MindTWS.org.uk or phone me on (01823) 334906.
Next year marks the 5th anniversary of Time To Talk Day and we at Time To Change Somerset are already making plans to celebrate, we hope that you will join us to be part of those celebrations.