Time to Talk Day - 4th February 2021
A joint article by Walsall Public Health and Walsall for All
Time to Talk Day encourages everyone to talk about mental health. This year the theme is the ‘Power of Small’ - how a small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference.
This is part of the Time to Change programme to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems, run by leading mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.
Mental health can affect anyone at any time. Around 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year. The last 12 months have been challenging, and it is more important than ever to talk about mental health, help to change attitudes and challenge misconceptions on mental health.
Below is an example of how talking about mental health has supported learners in English classes (managed by the ESOL Intelligence Unit in the Community, Equality and Cohesion team).
English classes empower students to live, work and thrive in the UK, but in recent conversations with tutors, the ESOL Intelligence Unit have been recognising the importance, not of the classes themselves but of the moments in between classes. Students are offered the chance to speak to one another and their tutor in a safe space about their mental health. The tutor has supported the students by listening, offering them wellbeing advice and connecting them to appropriate services. These conversations have made a difference to students’ lives.
Case study - Talking to a professional about mental health
A 49-year-old lady suffers with anxiety and depression. She lives alone and is no longer able to work. She was contacted by One You Walsall as part of their wellbeing calls service. She had very little motivation to do anything and felt she was on a downward spiral emotionally. The One You Walsall practitioner had a chat with her and this helped to reinforce the positive things she had achieved. She was also referred to support services such as Talking Therapies and provided with information on helpful apps (e.g. Headspace and Calm) and some home exercises.
In the following months, the client started to feel little more positive and began making her own list of things she wished to achieve. She uses the relaxation techniques most days and particularly when feeling anxious. The client expressed her thanks for the support and help as she feels the initial phone call and subsequent intervention is making a real difference.
Get started with learning about mental health
If you would like to learn more about mental health take the quiz on the Time to Change website.
You do not have to be an expert to talk about mental health. Here are some practical tips to help you get started.
Talk, but listen too: simply being there will mean a lot.
Keep in touch: meet up, phone, email or text.
Don’t just talk about mental health: chat about everyday things as well.
Remind them you care: small things can make a big difference.
Be patient: ups and downs can happen.
Phone numbers for anyone who requires support in a crisis:
Black County Mental Health NHS Trust – Crisis Service
0800 008 6516 (24 hours)
Black Country Emotional Support Helpline (16+ years of age)
0808 802 2288 (Mon-Friday 6pm-3am, Sat and Sunday 2pm-3am)
One You Walsall is a free healthy lifestyle service dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of all residents across Walsall. Their services are designed to help improve emotional wellbeing across many areas, including physical activity, healthy eating.
01922 444 044
Mon to Fri - 9am to 6pm
Rethink Mental Illness – The Sanctuary Hub, Walsall
Freephone 0808 802 2288
Open 7 days a week including Bank holidays
Monday – Friday 6pm-11pm
Saturday & Sunday 12pm-11pm
The Sanctuary Hub 1 Queens Parade Bloxwich, Walsall WS3 2EX
Samaritans 116 123 (24-hour helpline – free to call) Website: www.samaritans.org.uk