Time to Talk Day takes place on the 7th of February each year, and is a campaign run by Time to Change aimed at encouraging more people to open up and talk about mental health. Hafsah, from our Coventry & Warwickshire Employment Support Team told us about the event she held to mark the day:

My Time to Talk event was held at a community organisation in Nottingham known as the Asian Women’s Project. The organisation provides a space for ladies to attend different classes, an all ladies’ gym, and a community centre where they can come to connect and interact with others. On the day of our event there was a steady flow of people from diverse backgrounds passing by and asking questions. I provided them with some drinks and biscuits if they wanted to stop for a chat, explained what the event was about and gave them some information regarding mental health. I had an origami conversation starter designed by Time to Change, with prompts such as ‘tell someone you appreciate them’, which people seemed to enjoy and even took them home so they can use them with their families. I also had tip cards which people took away with them and printed some fact or myth card game to play with those if they wanted to learn a little bit more about mental health.

During the day, a lady arrived with a friend and opened up about her recent bereavement where her brother had passed away quite suddenly. She spoke about her grieving process compared to her sisters and the impact it had on her mental health. She said she recognised there was a point where she realised constant crying wasn’t doing her any good and made the decision to keep herself busy but she wasn’t masking her emotions – it was the right time for her to make steps to overcoming her grief.

The idea of starting a conversation about mental health enabled the women to become comfortable talking about the topic. Even those who had little knowledge on the subject were interested in knowing more and asking questions. The open space for talking about mental health was open and they were able to discuss, enquire and discover things that they would not have thought of otherwise.