Hey everyone! If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen that I've taken part in Time to Talk Day for the mental health awareness charity, Time to Change. They are an amazing charity that work towards ending the stigma surrounding mental health by launching campaigns and hosting events to get more people discussing mental health. Their website and social media provides a support network where people can share their stories and experiences with others, and they distribute lots of resources to encourage people to start conversations with their friends, family and work colleagues. I would always see resources in the library at my university around this time of year, which I think is great! Dealing with the stress of school/college/university can be very demanding and can have a massive impact on students' mental health so it's really important that there is support available at educational instituations to help students, and charitities such as Time to Change can help make talking about your struggles a little easier.
To help people discuss mental health, which can be a very scary prospect for many people when it comes to opening up about things that face so much stigma throughout society, you could request a pack from Time to Change. One of their campaign slogans is 'Take 5' to talk, which encourages people to just take a short time to sit and have a cup of tea with a friend and chat about mental health. The pack contains items to make this easier, such as postcards asking your loved ones to open about how they might be feeling, tea bags and coasters to use with your friends, leaflets and stickers. All of these items are great for spreading awareness and making people understand that you need to look after your mental health as well as your physical health, and that it's so very important to make sure that you are looking out for not only yourself but the people around you too. 'Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about'.
The aim of Time to Talk Day was to get people having conversations about mental health and then log in that they had taken part on the charities website. So far across the UK, 26,231 conservations have been logged; that's so awesome! To do my little bit for the campaign, I organised to meet up with two of my friends on Tuesday night. I shared with them the contents of the pack I was sent, and we ordered in a takeaway. We talked about how we had all been doing and to make conversation easier, I wrote down a few questions :) (1) Is there anything thats been on your mind a lot lately that you want to talk about? (2) What are some of the things that make you stressed, feel down or anxious?, (3) What are your worries about talking to people about your mental health? and (4) What helps you feel better/what do you do for self-care? I was glad that my friends could discuss things that had been bothering them and get some support :)
I also want to take today to make a promise to myself that I'm going to more open about my own mental health. A few of you may already know that I have anxiety disorder... the blogging community has been fantastic in making me feel comfortable and supported when it comes to discussing my mental health conditions. Something that I still really struggle with is talking about depression. I have mentioned that I have anxiety to most of my friends and family but depression is still something that I find difficult to discuss, other than with a few of my closest loved ones. This year, I've been working hard on improving my mental health and finding ways to deal with the problems they cause to my everyday life, and I'm hoping that being able to talk about depression more will have a positive impact for me. Thankyou to all the supportive and amazing bloggers that have shared their experiences and helped me work up the courage to be more open about experiences, and thankyou to the Time to Change charity and the Mind charity for helping inspire to my decision to finally seek help for my mental health at the end of 2014.
Why don't you try having a conversation with your friends today? Even if it's just for five minutes, because just talking to someone and getting things 'off your chest' can make a whole lot of difference to someone's day. Share the love ♥
(By the way, how cute are my new mugs? I bought a hedgehog, a rabbit, a squirrel and a fox, all from Home Bargins haha)
Thankyou for reading!
If you do have a chat with your loved ones or workmates, don't forget to log it in on the Time to Change website. Thankyou to everyone else who is taking part!