It’s Time To Talk
by Bryan Woods
This year Time to Talk Day will take place on Thursday, 2nd February. It is an annual event run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, in partnership with the Co-op. Promoted as “the nation’s biggest mental health conversation,” it is a chance for people to come together to discuss Mental Health.
It is much needed in our society, where Mental Health issues are still often misunderstood or even stigmatised. Isolation and loneliness can also often affect people who are suffering from mental illness.
There is also sometimes a reluctance to seek help in the early stages of a mental illness. Men in particular can view it as a sign of ‘weakness.‘ So encouraging a wider conversation through Time to Talk Day can only be a good thing. It is certainly better than suffering in silence.
The not-for-profit organisation Community First has also established a number of ‘Warm Hubs‘ in Hampshire. These can be found in community centres and libraries across the New Forest, East Hampshire, Havant, Winchester and Fareham.
They provide the opportunity for people to come inside for a hot drink and a chat. A meal is also sometimes available.
Activities, games, and clubs also feature in many Warm Hubs. Free and impartial advice, including saving money on energy bills, is also given to people who need it.
My local library in Petersfield offers a drop in Chat About facility where people can enjoy a chat and a hot drink. Games and jigsaw puzzles are also available.
The current cost-of-living crisis is causing a great deal of worry and anxiety for many people, to the general detriment of their mental health. Warm Hubs are a welcome initiative in tackling this.
So too is Hammersley Homes Outreach Service. This supports people in their own homes, who are living with ongoing mental health issues. It provides invaluable help to people who would otherwise struggle or fall through the cracks in the Mental Health system.
On Time to Talk Day I will be helping to man a stall in Petersfield for Havant and East Hants Mind. This is because, as a volunteer, I am passionate about the message – it’s Time to Talk about Mental Health.
Further information – timetotalkday.co.uk