Thursday 4 February is Time to Talk Day, and at Spirit we marked the occasion by taking time out of our working days for a (virtual) cuppa and a catch-up!
One in four people in England will be affected by mental health problems each year. Time to Talk Day, driven by the Time to Change mental health advocacy campaign and the charity Rethink Mental Illness, encourages people across the UK to have frank and open conversations about mental health: ‘to talk, to listen, to save lives’. This year’s theme is ‘the Power of Small’, focusing on the idea that even a small chat with a friend or trusted colleague can make a difference to our mental wellbeing.
People who are having difficulty with their mental health are often expected to take the lead in wider discussions of mental illness, which isn’t always fair. If you are already unwell or in distress, it may not be helpful to feel compelled to initiate conversation about your own struggles. Introducing and normalising more widespread conversations about mental health and wellbeing can help to break down stereotypes and reduce the stigma associated with mental ill health; as well as strengthening people’s relationships and providing an extra dimension of support for people who are in the process of recovering from a period of poor mental health.
With more people than ever before reporting feelings of hopelessness, loneliness and isolation, and with most of us still working from home away from the excitement of office life, we recognise the importance of open conversation. That’s why we set aside time today to hang out remotely, have a chat and enjoy each other’s company. Our casual conversations continue to pave the way towards a better overall understanding of mental health, as we encourage each other to invest in the Power of Small.