It’s Time to Talk Day on Thursday 7 February 2019 – the day to get the nation talking about mental health. It’s a chance for all of us to be more open about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives.

Time to Talk Day aims to get as many people as possible talking about mental health. In 2019, there are lots of different ways to have a conversation about mental health. Whether it’s talking on a walk, or listening over a cuppa, conversations can make a big difference. Since its launch in 2014, Time to Talk Day has sparked millions of conversations in schools, homes, workplaces, in the media and online.

1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year, but many of us are too afraid to talk about it. Starting a conversation about mental health might seem daunting, but simply sending a text, checking in on a friend or sharing something on social media can help to break the ice.

Time to Talk Day encourages everyone to talk about mental health. This year’s theme is all about bringing together the right ingredients, to have a conversation about mental health. Whether that’s tea, biscuits and close friends or a room full of people challenging mental health stigma, the key thing is to start talking.

Being physically active, connecting with nature and other people – the ingredients of a Ramblers group walk, are all things which have been shown to have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing. Which is why Time to Change have teamed up with Ramblers to get the nation talking and walking!

Having conversations about mental health helps break down stereotypes, improve relationships, aid recovery and take the stigma out of something that affects us all. There are lots of different ways to have a conversation about mental health. And you don’t have to be an expert to talk.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing – you can, and should, talk about mental health. Share what you are doing using #timetotalk. Don’t forget that if you’re experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support, there are lots of places you can go to for help. Time To Change have lots of useful resources and contacts on their website.

Written by simonrstones

Simon R. Stones BSc (Hons) is an award-winning patient advocate, consultant and researcher from Manchester in the UK, who was the winner of the international WEGO Health Award for Patient Healthcare Collaborator in 2017. He is a passionate advocate and ambassador for people living with invisible illnesses, inspired and empowered by his own journey with juvenile arthritis, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory bowel disease since childhood. He is currently an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, a trustee of Fibromyalgia Action UK and RAiISE, and board member of the European Network for Children with Arthritis (ENCA) and the European Network of Fibromyalgia Associations (ENFA).

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