Let’s keep the #mentalhealth conversation going everyday

So tomorrow is #timetotalk day which as with all these initiatives is a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of Mental Illness and especially the issue of stigma which sadly is all too real for many people today. Whilst it is vital for charities to set aside days to focus on and generate much needed publicity it is also important that those of us who are able to keep that conversation going everyday of the year where possible. 

#timetotalk day should not be the only day of the year to talk about mental health but just another opportunity from a possible 365 days each year. I for one will try to remember that every conversation that I have has the potential to change lives. 

Firstly talking about mental health in the same way we do with other illnesses and conditions helps to lessen the stigma that  there still seems to be. Many people have been surprised when I have mentioned depression in the same way that I might talk about asthma and I know that this can make a difference overtime. 

Talking about our own stories and journeys of mental illness can also have a huge impact on those we meet whether at work or even at the local gym or coffee shop. We should never underestimate how hearing someone talk about their experiences could encourage someone else to seek help for someone they know or even for themselves. It is important not to forget what an impact a personal testimony has the potential to have. 

At the Church where I am a member I have just written an article for our monthly magazine to raise the profile of mental health within the Church. I have researched websites that can signpost people to information and support and even if just one person is helped by this then it is definitely worth doing. 

I hope events for #timetotalk go well tomorrow and that it opens up the opportunity for many more conversations during the year ahead. 

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Time to Change and Time to Talk

The posts and tweets I have seen today have really made me smile and feel warm inside. The campaign has come on so much in the last few years and whilst there is a long way to go the progress can be seen. In my own life I would never of thought I could talk so openly with people about mental illness as a subject and also my diagnosis of bipolar. I never thought I could challenge stigma within my own friendship groups, family and at work. I have been comforted by the fact that people have felt they could open up to me because of a conversation I had started.
In addition to this blogging and twitter have proved to be immensely therapeutic and the ability to read and share with other people experiencing similar but very individual stories has at times been life saving and inspiring.
Keep talking everyone, thank you all