Time to Change, England’s most ambitious programme to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health, has launched a new phase called ‘It’s time to Talk, it’s time to Change’ and a local NHS Trust is urging people to get behind the campaign.
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides specialist mental health and learning disability services to the people of Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield and campaigns locally to reduce the stigma that people with mental health problems face in their day-to-day lives.
The new work from Time to Change is all about the fact that a few small words can make a big difference. That could be talking about our own mental health problem, or talking to someone we know who has a mental health problem.
The saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ couldn’t be more true when it comes to speaking about mental health. Not only is talking about mental health one of the best ways to tackle prejudice it can also help people living with a mental illness strengthen friendships, aid recovery and break down stereotypes.
It’s important to remember that mental health problems are common. One in four of us will be affected at some point, so being able to talk about mental health is important for us all.
This new campaign will include advertising across England all aimed at breaking down the fear and awkwardness people feel in talking about mental health.
The Trust is supporting the ‘It’s time to Talk, it’s time to Change’ campaign by encouraging people who use or have used mental health services to share their story.
Telling your story is a brave step to take but it can help people understand mental illness and reduce fear and stereotyping. It can also help other people in the same situation feel less isolated. A few small words can make a big difference so it’s vital that we’re not afraid to talk about mental health.
If you’d like to share your personal experience of mental health problems the Trust’s communications team will help you. You can find out more about sharing your story on the Trust’s website www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk/ .
You can also read personal stories that people have shared with us that are already helping to encourage people to be more understanding of mental health problems.
The Trust’s chief executive Steven Michael, explained, “Nearly 11,000 people in our region have already shown their support for local mental health services by becoming a member of our Trust showing there is a real passion locally for stopping the stigma. Often the fact that it’s difficult to talk about mental health problems can be one of the hardest parts of having a mental illness. It can lead to the loss of friendships, feeling isolated, not seeking help and slower recovery. But it doesn’t have to be this way so show your support by agreeing that ‘It’s time to talk, it’s time to change.”