Letter: Conversations change lives

Date published: 02 February 2017

Dear Editor,

Mental health is an issue that is too often swept under the carpet as if there is something to be deeply ashamed of. The only shame comes from those who would much rather the truth about mental health be kept hidden and ignored rather than brought out into the light of day as it should be.

Mental health is a massive issue locally that will never be solved without some honesty, transparency and openness being adopted by all of us.

The borough has a constituency of some 40,000 people who have some form of diagnosed or non-diagnosed mental health condition.

Most of us will know someone who is affected by mental health, and be aware of some of the stigma and discrimination experienced by them on a daily basis. It's time these attitudes changed.

As part of a nation-wide push to get people talking more openly about mental heath for one day, Time to Talk Day has been organised by Time to Change. The campaign aims to change how we all think and act about mental health problems, led by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

Time to Talk Day aims to get as many people as possible across England talking about mental health. Since it’s launch in 2014, it has sparked millions of converations in schools, homes, workplaces, in the media, and attracted support from celebrities such as Freddie Flintoff, Stephen Fry and Frankie Bridge. Time to Talk Day 2017 aims to get the nation talking about mental health.

One in four 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 break the ice.

Sue Baker, director of Time to Change, said: 'Mental health problems are common and can affect any one of us, yet too often people are afraid to talk openly about mental health. for fear of being judged.

"Time to Talk Day is a chance for everyone to open up about mental health - to talk, to listen, to change lives. We want to get the nation talking round the clock, whatever the time, whatever the place, wherever you are - it’s easy to take part and make a change.'

For information about Time to Talk Day and how you can get involved please visit

Thank you.


Anderw Wastling

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