NEEDING SOME SPACE ? IT'S TIME TO TALK DAY 2021...
Last updated: 11.15am, Thursday 4th February 2021
Today is Time to Talk Day 2021. With so many of us suffering mentally due to the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, todays annual Time to Talk Day is perhaps even more significant in the current climate.
Conversations about mental health will be happening nationwide today as part of the social movement organised by Time to Change to end the stigma surrounding speaking out about your problems and asking for help.
A third lockdown in winter, physical health worries, furlough, job losses and the devastating loss of life in the last year due to Covid-19 – all these factors can add up to a breeding ground for poor mental health.
Today all over the world organisations are turning their social media and other online channels into ‘good news’ zones to promote awareness of positive mental health and to help end the surrounding stigmas.
Our partners Breathing Space are encouraging everyone in Scotland to make some time for their mental health right now.
Supporting mental wellbeing through activities such as exercise and relaxation is particularly important during these times of heightened stress and anxiety.
Here's a clip showing some of the work taking place in the Borders through the Breathing Space Bench Project to create welcoming spaces within communities.
Breathing Space are here to listen!
Sometimes the things that happen in our lives can have a big impact on our thoughts and feelings. Our mental wellbeing can be affected by issues such as:
- work and money worries
- relationship problems
- chronic pain
People contact Breathing Space about various concerns in their lives, there is no such thing as a typical call. Whatever your reason for phoning, you can be assured that you will feel listened to and respected.
A small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference.
We know that the more conversations we have, the more myths we can bust and barriers we can break down, helping to end the isolation, shame and worthlessness that too many of us with mental health problems are made to feel. Time to Talk Day is the day to get the nation talking about mental health. This year’s event might look a little different, but at times like this open conversations about mental health are more important than ever.
Time To Change need your help to start the conversation this Time to Talk Day – together we can end mental health stigma.
Tips for talking about mental health:
We know talking about mental health is not always easy. But starting a conversation doesn’t have to be awkward and being there for someone can make a huge difference.
It’s important that conversations happen at times and in places that feel natural. Sometimes it’s easier to talk about our feelings when we are doing something else. Driving in the car; jogging around the park; eating breakfast. The more typical the setting, the less unusual and uncomfortable the conversation can feel.
There is no right way to talk about mental health, but these tips will guide you to make sure you’re approaching it in a helpful way.
1. Ask questions and listen
Asking questions can give the person space to express how they’re feeling and what they’re going through, and it will help you to understand their experience better. Try to ask questions that are open and not leading or judgemental – such as “how does that affect you” or “what does it feel like?”
2. Think about the time & place
Sometimes it’s easier to talk side by side rather than face to face. So, if you do talk in person, you might want to chat while you are doing something else. You could start a conversation when you’re walking, cooking or stuck in traffic. However, don’t let the search for the perfect place put you off!
3. Don't try & fix it
It can be hard to see someone you care about having a difficult time but try to resist the urge to offer quick fixes to what they’re going through. Learning to manage or recover from a mental health problem can be a long journey, and they’ve likely already considered lots of different tools and strategies. Just talking can be really powerful, so unless they’ve asked for advice directly, it might be best just to listen.
4. Treat them the same
When someone has a mental health problem, they’re still the same person as they were before. And that means when a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don’t want to be treated any differently. If you want to support them, keep it simple. Do the things you'd normally do.
5. Be patient
No matter how hard you try, some people might not be ready to talk about what they’re going through. That’s ok – the fact that you’ve tried to talk to them about it may make it easier for them to open up another time.
And there are lots of things you can do to support them even if you’re not talking:
- Doing things together
- Sending a text to let them know you’re thinking of them
- Offering to help with day-to-day tasks.
If you or someone you know needs more immediate help You can speak to a Breathing Space advisor on 0800 83 85 87.
The Breathing Space phone-line is available:
24 hours at weekends (6pm Friday - 6am Monday)
6pm to 2am on weekdays (Monday - Thursday).
If you are feeling distressed, in a state of despair, suicidal or need emotional support outwith these hours you can contact Samaritans on 116 123.
Your call will be confidential and will be taken by a trained Samaritans volunteer. The phoneline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are ill and feel it can't wait until your GP surgery re-opens you can call NHS 24 on 111. For an emergency ambulance you should dial 999.