Time to Talk Day 2019 – join the conversation

Time to Talk Day Published: Thursday, 7th February 2019

Today is Time to Talk Day and people across Warrington are being encouraged to have positive conversations about mental health.

This year, Time to Talk Day is encouraging us all to bring together the right ingredients, to have a conversation about mental health, and to listen to our family, friends and colleagues too. There are lots of different ways to have a conversation about mental health – and you don’t have to be an expert to talk.

Talking about mental health doesn’t have to be difficult. The Time to Change website has tips and suggestions to help you start your own conversations.

Each year, 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem, but too many people are made to feel isolated, worthless and ashamed.

Cllr Pat Wright, executive board member for statutory health and adult social care, said: “Having a conversation about mental health makes us realise that we are not alone when we experience problems. It can help us to understand mental health issues a little better, so that we are more able to support our family, friends and colleagues when they need it. We want to help break down stigma and discrimination by showing that it affects us all and is something we should all feel we are able to talk about without being judged.

“Time to Talk Day is a great opportunity for all of us to be more open about mental health, to talk, to listen and to start to change lives. So we’re asking people to come together and, however you do it, make time for a conversation about mental health and encourage people to seek support when they need it.”

The Council has also been supporting Warrington Wolves Foundation’s men’s mental fitness project, Offload, which supports local men who are experiencing mental health problems.

Offload utilises the profile of Warrington Wolves to engage and empower men to open up about the challenges they face in their daily lives. Working alongside the national State of Mind Sport charity, former professional players with personal lived experiences share the tools and strategies they implement to cope with a variety of issues. 

The programme brings men together from across the borough, with a shared goal of improving their mental fitness. Ian Houghton, 26, said: “I went off work with depression and my manager at the time mentioned Offload as a programme that might help me. It has given me a way to accept that it’s not just me going through this. Meeting other men at the Offload fixtures who’ve had similar, and in many cases, worse issues than me is incredibly helpful.

“It’s great to know you can walk in and bring up any sort of feeling or emotion that’s affecting you, whether that’s just being a bit low or having an urge to take your own life. Thanks to the programme, I’m in a better place and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

63% of men who have attended Offload have never sought help for their mental health previously. To support Time to Talk Day 2019, current participants have come together to create the SMILE video to show that mental health does not discriminate and can affect anyone, at any time. For more information about Offload, visit wolvesfoundation.com/offload.

For information and tips about how to look after your own mental wellbeing and to help you support others, visit Warrington’s mental health awareness site www.happyoksad.org.uk which has details of a wide range of local and national mental health support services.

The My Life Warrington website also includes a number of free courses to help you improve your health and wellbeing. Find out more at www.mylifewarrington.co.uk.

In February 2018 the ‘In Your Corner’ men’s mental health campaign was launched in Warrington. We want to know whether men are aware of the campaign and if so what they think of it. If you are a man who lives, or works in Warrington, complete our short survey at smartsurvey.co.uk/s/MensMH2 to be in with a chance of winning a ticket to a Warrington Wolves match or a £30 Love to Shop voucher.