Today is Time to Talk Day 2021, a day which aims to get people to speak openly about mental health among colleagues and beyond.
The organisers, Time to Change, hope to remove the stigma currently associated with these types of conversations, thus changing the way people think about mental health more generally.
According to their website: ‘On Time to Talk Day we want everyone to have a conversation about mental health – whether that’s texting a friend, chatting to a colleague or organising a stigma-busting event.
‘We know that talking about mental health can feel awkward, but it doesn’t have to.’
Here are resources and quotes which can help inform the way you might broach these (sometimes difficult) conversations.
Resources to encourage mental health awareness
Time to Change has a range of resources on their website which give pointers on how to start conversations around mental health in specific situations.
Their community pack suggests speaking over video call with friends and family, saying they can be ‘an ideal place to help people feel relaxed and comfortable.’ They also suggest using their bespoke mental health pub quiz to get people chatting.
The quiz gets people to guess some of the statistics and myths which surround mental ill health.
For workplaces hoping to participate in the day (and beyond), they suggest ‘lunch and learn’ clubs, where colleagues can get to know one another better and learn how to support each other. They provide organiser cards and step by step instructions on how these could play out – even if you’re mainly working from home.
They also have a range of short quizzes you can conduct with your team, which all show just how common and widespread mental health issues are.
It’s also important to note, however, that you should not pressure people into talking about their mental health if they are not comfortable doing so.
Mental health charity Mind also has useful resources on its website which give guidance on what to do if someone you know is struggling with a mental health problem.
They also provide a free helpline which signposts to where people can find help, or get treatment.
Inspiring quotes about mental health
Sometimes powerful words from someone who has been through something similar can help provide perspective.
‘Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.’ – Saint Francis of Assisi
‘Your illness is not your identity. Your chemistry is not your character.’ – Pastor Rick Warren
‘You are beautiful because you let yourself feel, and that is a brave thing indeed.’ – Shinji Moon
‘I cannot stand the words “Get over it”. All of us are under such pressure to put our problems in the past tense. Slow down. Don’t allow others to hurry your healing. It is a process, one that may take years, occasionally, even a lifetime – and that’s OK.’ – Beau Taplin
‘You can’t control everything. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out. Let go a little and just let life happen.’ – Kody Keplinger
‘It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.’ – Stephen Fry
‘What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.’– Glenn Close
‘Being able to be your true self is one of the strongest components of good mental health.’ — Dr. Lauren Fogel Mersy
‘There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.’ – John Green
‘Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.’ – Fred Rogers
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