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Partnership working that works: #TimetoTalk

Southend-on-Sea's DfE Community Learning | Mental Health Research site 

National Time to Talk Day takes place on the first Thursday in February. In 2016, this was 4th February. The aim was to get as many people as possible across England talking about mental health. Time to Talk Day was launched by the national anti-stigma campaign Time to Change.

Time to Change's latest survey revealed nearly 60% of people with mental health problems wait over a year to tell the people who are closest to them about it.

Working in partnership with SACC and Southend Social Prescribing and Ways to Wellbeing, the Supported Volunteering Project ran a stall at SACC, and encouraged students and staff to talk. By joining together for one day, we aimed to break the silence that often surrounds mental health, and show that talking about this once taboo issue doesn’t need to be difficult

Pictures from the day are in our Facebook album

We provided leaflets and information about local services providing support for people with a mental health condition, alongside offering a cup of tea. To get some conversation going we asked ‘what one thing or person is there for you when you need support?’. We popped that answer on a post-it and on our display board.

People came up with some lovely examples including ‘going to the cinema to escape for a few hours’, my mum and family’,’ salsa dancing’ and even ‘my cats!’  The event was a big success. It gave people an opportunity to talk openly about mental health and a chance to link up with like minded services. 

Key statistics 

  • 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year
  • 3 children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health condition
  • only a quarter of people with a common mental health problem get treatment, mostly in the form of medication 
  • 2.3 million people with a mental health condition are out of work and mental health conditions are the primary reason for claiming health related benefits
  • the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated that mental ill-health costs the economy an estimated £70 billion a year, equivalent to 4.5% of GDP, through lost productivity, social benefits and health care
  • the most common mental health problem is depression which is experienced by 8 to 12% of the population

Rachel Rooks, Supported Volunteering Worker

Southend Association of Voluntary Services 

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