Why are initiatives, such as Time to Talk Day, that aim to open up conversations around mental health so important to you, as someone with lived experience of mental health problems?
"1 in 4 people will face a mental health difficulty in any given year, yet too many people are made to feel isolated and ashamed as a result. Initiatives such as Time to Talk Day help to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness by educating the 3 in 4 and empowering the 1 in 4. We all have mental health, and we need to treat it with the same care and respect as our physical health."
JODIE GOODACRE | 22 | UK
"Initiatives like time to talk day enforce that mental health is a part of everyday life and that it is not something to be ashamed of. It helps give people the incentive and a starting point to talk about mental health. I think its a reminder that everyone has mental health and can give people the ability to admit their mental health is suffering and as my favourite saying reminds us, 'there's no health without mental health.'"
MELISSA | 24 | UK
"They are important because I grew up in a stifling environment where I had no right to express opinions, feelings, nor complain about anything. I suffered in silence and I find it highly important to learn to talk, and to listen to those in need."
LULU | 42 | FRANCE
"Time to Talk Day is important to me because I have felt alone. There have been many times when I have been struggling with my mental health and those around me have not known how to start a conversation, and even if they have, they have been very cautious in doing so. It is important for me to open up conversations, for many reasons but ultimately it is so that people know they are not alone and that their mental health is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed of."
NICOLE WILLIAMS | 24 | UK
"initiatives remind me that I'm not alone facing all these struggles. Sometimes I would think it's my fault that I'm feeling depressed and that I was responsible for not "thinking on the bright side" of things, but that only makes matters worse. It turns out I am not alone in these struggles, and sharing really helps."
TED | 21 | TAIWAN
"Strength in numbers. The wave of support from other mental health advocates is the strength to break down the barrier."
HEIDI WILSON | 18 | UK
"Because mental illness is still such a taboo subject and it shouldn’t be! I spent years struggling in silence because of the stigma around it, but Time to Talk Day is a great initiative and encouragement for those that still find it a uncomfortable subject to talk about it!"
CHLOE BELLERBY | 17 | UK
"It's important so that we can celebrate opening up and talking to people."
HEIDI WILLIAMS | 17 | UK
"They’re important because normalising these conversations allows people to seek support for their mental health without the fear of judgement or stigma. A fear which prevented me from opening up about my own mental health conditions for nearly 10 years. ."
ROB | 25 | UK
"Continuous exposure of the general population to what mental health is, and how it works, will hopefully change this perspective.."
MATTHIUS | 21 | BELGIUM
"Mental illness is still often stigmatised and society can seem afraid of people with mental health problems; they imagine the stereotypical horror movie. This forces those suffering to stay silent, which adds immense emotional pressure on an already crippled individual. Talking about mental health problems helps normalise mental illness in the eyes of the public and also assures the ones suffering that they are not alone in their struggle."
D | 20 | BULGARIA
"Any day that is specifically to raise awareness, discuss or introduce mental health is extremely important because it can help to feel less alone, bring about understanding, and hopefully reduce the stigma that so often accompanies mental illness. For me it's been an opportunity to talk about my own struggles without a lot of judgement as well as finding others who are similarly struggling. ."
KATHY M | 41 | CANADA
"It is important to talk openly about mental health. It helps to reduce stigma and offer lived experiences for others to hear, and learn from."
ASHLEY CURRY | 49 | UK
"They’re important because I hid my anxiety for 2 years because I was worried how people would react. When I did speak about it, people were so kind and supportive that I wished I’d been open about it sooner. Time to Talk encourages us to have these conversations and shows that they’re not only okay, but a good thing."
LAURA BARTLEY | 28 | UK
"Time to Talk Day has made me realise that far from being in the minority, so many other people I know have also experienced mental health problems. I have found that talking about your mental health will actually improve your mental health."
JON SALMON | 40 | UK
"Initiatives, such as Time to Talk Day, that aim to open up conversations around mental health are important to me, as someone who lives with mental health problems because not only are these initiatives bringing awareness to those who suffer in silence but also give the opportunity for those silenced to speak about about their experiences and relate with those who may be in similar situations."
CHELSEA GIRARD | 19 | CANADA
"I think that they do a fantastic amount of good as they help to normalise such conversations. It is also encouraging to see how many of your social media friends post or share such links, as it shows that people are becoming much more open-minded about mental health."
MATTHEW WILLIAMS | 43 | UK
"They give me that extra push to get out and look after myself a bit better mental health wise. Also talking to people who go through the same things, make me feel less alone."
MARC LAMBERTS | 25 | NETHERLANDS
"Time to Talk Day is incredibly important in bringing such an misunderstood and stigmatised illness to the surface where we can educate others and raise more awareness of it breaking down the the assumptions and misconceptions in its path. As someone with depression i receive a lot of stigma, i get people treating me differently."
JACOB PEOPLE | 20 | UK
"They are so important because they make me and so many others feel less alone. Dealing with mental illness can be so isolating, so knowing that there are so many people out there who are open to talking about mental health is game changing."
NICOLE WOODWARD | 19 | UK
"Being comfortable to speak about my own mental health has been a crucial step in the road to recovery. Being open and honest not only allows me to connect with others with shared experiences who can understand, but also enables me to access the correct professional support."
LISA | 20 | UK
"These initiatives raise awareness amongst those who haven’t experienced mental health problems, so that they can better understand what those of use who do suffer are experiencing. It can help them understand certain symptoms or things to look out for, as well as help explain why we sometimes act the way we do."
ELENA WOLFSON | 27 | UK
"I think that it is so important to talk, not only to people you know but to strangers too, about mental health, it links everyone together and it gets the convo going between people. Time to Talk was a wonderful day and it filled me with so much confidence and drive. I am now going to do Mental Health at work too."
ADAM HUGHES | 24 | UK
"I think mostly it's the relief it gives me personally, that I don't have to keep it hushed up for fear of judgement. I'm not ashamed of my mental illness, and everyone has mental health, so it makes sense that in 2018 we are talking about it."
ZOE HAZEL | 27 | UK
"These initiatives are important to me because they break down a lot of stereotypes around mental health and show that people with mental health issues are “normal” – although what even is normal – people who can function and be part of wider society. I used to treat my mental illness as a dirty little secret, but now I feel able to tell people openly and honestly about my struggles."
CHARLOTTE BATES | 23 | UK
"Encouraging people to be open about their mental health gets people to feel less shame about their mental health and feel less alone if they are struggling with a mental health issue. From my own experience, it is a huge comfort to just have people listen to you without judging and to feel like you have people to relate too."
PETER SHAW | 25 | UK
"Having lived experience of mental health problems, I feel that charities and campaigns such as Time to Talk Day have no only raised awareness of mental health, but actually enabled me to be accepting of my own difficulties and be open with others on the subject."
ABBIE HAMBLETON | 22 | UK
"I have always been very lucky to have family and friends I can talk to about my mental health. Being able to talk openly about what I was going through was a big part of my recovery, as it made me feel less isolated. I think initiatives like Time to Talk Day are really important because no one should have the burden of having to hide their mental health problems - dealing with them is hard enough already!"
MARY | 21 | UK
"Sometimes it’s important to have a ‘reason to talk’ a platform for people to be able to ask questions, be open and honest and to start to explore the world of Mental Health and listen to people’s experiences. Most people want to listen, want to help, but don’t necessarily know what’s happening or how to get thy conversation."
KATIE | 27 | UK
"I was terrified to talk about my MH for years, and this fear wasn’t unfounded. When I was younger I experienced a lot of stigma and it made me afraid to speak out. It was after I joined TTC as a YC that it became clear to me that the experiences that had put me off speaking out were also the very reason I had to. Nobody should ever feel ashamed of their MH and the more we talk, the more people will have to listen to us. 1 in 4 of us will experience a MH problem, and that’s okay."
CARA | 27 | UK
"It’s always good to have another opportunity to talk about how you’re feeling. Days like Time to Talk Day can help be important signposts, directing people to proper resources for those looking for help, those wanting to talk, and those who want to say “I feel a bit better now” and can celebrate that."
CARL | 26 | UK
"They are so important because the more days like this means more conversations, and the more conversations that happen about mental health, the more it becomes the norm to speak to others about our problems. Time to Talk days have also made me aware that there might be someone i know that could be struggling and it allows me to start a conversation with them."
STEPHANIE | 24 | UK
"Because often the thing that is needed most is someone to listen. Time to Talk Day helps to start those conversations."
MIKE | 31 | UK
"These kind of initiatives are so vital to me because they allow for anyone to be able to see that a conversation can happen and allow for a new way of communication and education to occur. As someone who has faced stigma throughout life, ensuring it decreases and stops with other generations means a more positive public and allows for anyone who is mentally ill to no longer feel ashamed."
LEANNE | 22 | UK
"As someone with experience of mental health difficulties, I have seen first hand the power of talking, of being open and how this has helped my recovery. I want others to understand the power of talking. Lets make this campaign reach people who are currently scared to talk about their mental health, encourage people to reach out to friends who are struggling and for everyone to realise that having a mental health difficulty is nothing to be ashamed of."
GRACE ANDERSON | 24 | UK
"It's the small moments that can make a big difference. That in depth conversation has a place, but knowing you can access the lighter moments because you have shared your illness with someone can stop symptoms in their tracks. Feeling comfortable enough to say to a loved one that panic is sneaking back in can totally transform that moment. They don't even have to talk to you about those nasty, panicked feelings."