Time to Talk Day

Time to Talk Day takes place on the first Thursday in February.

It's a day that brings the nation together to get talking and break the silence around mental health problems.

Get involved with Time to Talk Day on Thursday 1 February 2018

Too often, people who experience a mental health problem are also expected to take the lead on talking about mental health in the wider sense. Time to Talk Day encourages everyone to talk about mental health.

Mental health problems affect one in four of us, yet people are still afraid to talk about it. For people with mental health problems, not being able to talk about it can be one of the worst parts of the illness. Chances are this affects someone you know, they just might not know how to tell you about it. Here are some tips about spotting signs and how to start a conversation:

Off the radar: Has a friend or family member stop socialising?

  • Are they distant and distracted, acting unlike themselves?
  • Have they changed their appearance? Someone may neglect to look after their appearance or personal hygiene, be overeating or starving themselves, so look out for changes in weight
  • Social media: has a friend or colleague changed their social media habits, posting more about certain subjects or going silent altogether?

What to do:

  • Stay in contact, even if it feels like you're having to put in a lot of effort. Be patient.
  • Talk about everyday things, ask what's on their mind and don't change how you act around them
  • Listen without judging
  • Send a private message on social media asking how they are doing, or try to get in touch via other means

If someone does open up.

  • Don't shy away from the subject
  • You don't have to fix all of their problem, just being there will help
  • Don't treat them any differently, keep doing the things you normally do together
  • You don't have to be an expert but if they mention a specific condition, do some research and if they need further support suggest they talk to their GP or mental health organisations.

Time to talk

If you feel like talking to someone would help with problems you are dealing with, don't delay. The truth is people close to you - and even work colleagues and others you wouldn't count as friends - will be happy to listen. They might not be loaded with the expertise you would get from the Samaritans or your local GP but chances are they will know someone else who has suffered from mental health problems, or may have experienced it themselves.

For more information on Time To Talk Day visit the Time To Change website or make your voice heard using the #timetotalk hashtag on Twitter.

More information

We have a lot of information on People First about mental health which has been co-written with professionals, including 10 keys to a happier life, Depression, Eating Disorders, Support and help, as well as a section how to access mental health support from local authorities or NHS

Local support and help

To find out about local services and support, click one of the links below to take you to your local MIND, depending on the borough you live in: