Time to Talk Day 2023: Make space to talk about mental health
Russell Workman, DCW Digital Inclusion Advisor, talks mental health and recommends online resources for better conversations.
Time to Talk Day takes place on Thursday 2nd February 2023 and is organised by Time to Change Wales, Mind, and Adferiad Recovery in partnership with the Co-op. The campaign is encouraging everyone to make space in their day for a conversation about mental health.
It is a day when we are encouraged to check in on those we know – our friends, neighbours, colleagues, and family members – to remind them that they are loved and cared for.
Talking about mental health is not always easy, but a conversation has the power to change, or even save lives.
Often, when struggling with your mental health, you can lose a sense of perspective. Things that for many people are easy to cope with can cause you to become extremely low and despairing. Mental illness can be a desperately lonely place. I know. I’ve been there.
We are all very good at putting on masks. Telling people that we are fine when we are anything but. Smiling and laughing but falling apart inside. When we take the time to have a conversation with others it gives them the space to perhaps open up about something that is weighting them down. At the very least, it shows them that somebody is interested and cares, which can be a much-needed glimmer of light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.
Time To Talk Day is all about creating supportive communities by having conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about mental health. We all have mental health, sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not, but we all have it. But by talking about it we can support ourselves and others.
How much of a difference can talking make? It can literally save a life. And you don’t even have to talk about mental health! Asking a question about the weather or last night’s telly can be a good starting point to a conversation.
So, this Time to Talk Day, why not reach out to a friend, a family member, or a colleague, someone you haven’t spoken with for a while, and start a conversation. Invite them for a coffee, to go for a walk, or simply chat over the phone. You could be a ray of sunlight into a very dark day, and you may even save a life.
Online resources for mental health
Download resources to use for 2023’s campaign and beyond. Here you can download a host of materials to help start mental health conversations in your community, workplace or school. You’ll find posters, postcards, social media tiles, conversation starters, bunting and much more.
Mind Cymru is Mind in Wales. The charity works to ensure everyone in Wales has access to the mental health information, support and services they need.
Time to Change Wales has a range of free materials you can download to help start mental health conversations in your community, workplace, or school. Posters, Bunting, Talking Tips Cards, Quizzes, Conversation Starters, Social Media Banners, Interactive Bingo Cards, and more.
The Samaritans in partnership with Network Rail and British Transport Police launched Small Talk Saves Lives to encourage staff and travellers to notice if someone may be at risk and then start a conversation by asking a simple question. There are some excellent examples on their website of how an observant person asking a question such as “Where can I get a coffee?” or “What time is the next train?” has been enough to bring someone back from the brink.
Meddwl is a fantastic website to get support, information, and learn about mental health experiences – all through the medium of Welsh.
Adferiad Recovery provides information and support for people in Wales with mental health problems, substance misuse problems, and those with co-occurring and complex needs.
The Mental Health and Money Advice service provides clear, practical advice and support for people experiencing issues with mental health and money.
Beat is the UK’s eating disorder charity providing information and support for people with eating disorders.
Spread the word for Time to Talk Day 2023
• Visit www.timetotalkday.co.uk to learn more about the campaign
• Visit www.timetochangewales.org.uk/en/campaigns/timetotalkday to find out what’s happening in Wales
• Join the national conversation using the hashtag #TimeToTalk