Time to Talk Day — 7 February 2019

According to NHS Digital, one in six people have been reported to have experienced a common mental health problem in any given week in the UK. On 7 February 2019, the UK acknowledges Time to Talk Day (TTTD) — a campaign created by the UK mental health charity, Time to Change.

What is Time to Talk Day?

TTTD is a national awareness day, aimed at encouraging people in the UK to talk more openly about their mental health. The campaign started in 2014 and has since become a significant date in the wellbeing calendar thanks to Time to Change’s efforts. For 2019, Time to Change is inviting people to simply hold more conversations on their mental health — whether it be at work, home or within their local community.

What causes poor mental health?

There is no single cause for mental health disorders; instead, they can be caused by a mixture of biological, psychological and environmental factors.

The following factors could potentially result in a period of poor mental health.

  • Discrimination and stigma.

  • Substance abuse.

  • Bereavement.

  • Severe or long-term stress.

  • Abuse, trauma, neglect, domestic violence, bullying or any other abuse.

The signs and symptoms

Mental health problems can cover a broad range of disorders, but the common characteristic is that they all affect the affected person’s personality, thought processes or social interactions. Unlike many physical illnesses, mental health issues can be difficult to clearly diagnose.

Examples of signs and symptoms include:

  • feeling sad or down, mood changes

  • excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt

  • withdrawal from friends and activities

  • excessive anger, hostility or violence.

How can I get involved?

From a coffee morning at your work, to a stall handing out materials at your local train station, there are plenty of activities you can participate in to get people talking on TTTD. Suggestions include:

Bag packing in a supermarket

Starting quick conversations while offering to pack bags in supermarkets can be a great way to get involved with TTTD. Fundraisers often collect for charity at supermarkets so it’s important to let people know that it’s a few spare minutes of time you need, not money.

Cafe conversations

Contact a local cafe to organise a TTTD event that encourages customers to chat about their mental health over a hot beverage.

Pledge wall

Get your local community involved with TTTD by erecting a Time to Change pledge wall in a local space such as a shopping centre, library or park. Members of the public can then write their own pledges, creating a wall of support for ending mental health stigma.

For more ideas and online resources, click here to access the TTTD 2019 page on the Time to Change website. Here, you can find multiple information packs and order forms to obtain your free promotional materials.

Did you know?

  • Mental health is the single largest cause of disability in the UK.

  • Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

  • One in eight people aged under 19 in England have experienced a mental health disorder. Anxiety and depression have been estimated to cause one-fifth of days lost from work in Britain.

For further advice on health and wellbeing issues, contact Health Assured, the UK’s leading employee assistance programme and wellbeing services provider: 0844 891 0350.