It’s Time to Talk

It’s Time to Talk

Sadly, there is still a stigma attached to poor mental health, where people are made to feel lonely, worthless, and ashamed. 

However, for at least one day a year, ‘Time to Talk Day’ encourages everyone to have a conversation about mental health – whether that’s texting a friend, chatting to a colleague or organising a stigma-busting event.

Thursday 1st February 2024, marks Time to Talk Day.  It is the nation’s largest mental health conversation.  It’s a day for friends, families, communities, and workplaces to come together to talk, listen and ultimately change lives.

Time to Talk Day 2024, first launched in 2014. It is run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and is being delivered in partnership with Co-op for the third year running. Across the UK, it’s delivered by See Me in Scotland, Inspire in Northern Ireland and Time to Change Wales

The more conversations that are had, the better life is for everyone. Talking about mental health isn’t easy and sometimes it’s even harder to say how you really feel.  But a conversation can change lives. 

The day is all about creating supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues. We all have mental health and by talking about it we can support ourselves and others.

Why is it important to talk?

Sometimes it’s easier to tell people we’re ‘fine’ than it is to say how we really feel.

1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year.  Unfortunately, the cost-of-living crisis is only making it harder, the poorest fifth of the population being twice as likely to develop a mental health problem.

Talking Tips

As you’ve gathered, Time to Talk Day is about us all being open to the idea of talking – we all experience poor mental health at some point, and by having conversations about it we can help ourselves and others.

There is no right way to talk about mental health.  If someone does open up, it might not always feel easy to know what to say, but it doesn’t have to be awkward, and being there for someone can make a big difference.

Here are some tips can help make sure you’re approaching it in a helpful way.

Ask questions and listen.

Try to ask questions that are open and not leading or judgmental, like “how does that affect you?” or “what does it feel like?” By asking questions, it can give the person space to express how they’re feeling and what they’re going through, and it will help you to understand their experience better.

Think about the time and place.

I’m not sure about you, but walking with someone, rather than sat opposite is less intimidating when you’re trying to open up with your feelings, 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. However, don’t let the search for the perfect place put you off!

Don’t try and fix it.

It is really difficult to see someone you care about having a difficult time but try to resist the urge to offer quick fixes to what they’re going through. When you are learning to manage or recover from a mental health problem can be a long journey and potentially, they’ve already considered lots of different tools and strategies. By just talking, it can be powerful, so unless they’ve asked for advice directly, it might be best just to listen.

Treat them the same.

Regardless of if someone has a mental health problem, they’re still the same person as they were before.  That means when a friend or loved one opens 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. 

Be patient.

You have to accept that; people might not be ready to talk about what they’re going through. That’s ok – the fact that you’ve tried to talk to them about it may make it easier for them to open up to you another time.

Information / Source: https://timetotalkday.co.uk

Here are some other useful resources for you may find useful for yourself or your colleagues:


Time to Change

Mental Health @ Work

Every Mind Matters

Mental Health Awareness Week