[C]umbria County Council is backing a national campaign, from ‘Time to Change’, encouraging people to take the time to talk about mental health and wellbeing.
Time to Talk Day on Thursday 1 February is part of a nationwide push to get people talking more openly about mental health and asks them to talk about mental health and wellbeing for 24 hours. It is organised by Time to Change, a growing movement of people changing how we all think and act about mental health problems.
In October last year, on World Mental Health Day, Cumbria County Council signed the Time to Change pledge, joining 644 organisations in pledging commitment to changing how we think and act about mental health in the workplace.
Since signing the pledge the county council has enlisted the support of 40 members of staff to become Time to Change Champions. Time to Change Champions are people with lived experience who are happy to talk openly about mental health and will play a key role in helping the council make mental health a normal topic of conversation, dispelling myths and making it easier for employees to seek support.
These Champions join a growing social movement, supporting employees, friends and children and collectively making a difference to challenging stigma and discrimination in communities, workplaces, schools and online.
Mark Hankin, Highways Network Engineer and Time to Change Champion, said: “I want to support Time to Change in order to help break down barriers relating to mental health stigma. Having suffered with my own problems in this area, I feel that it is important that everyone in the workplace realises that they can talk about mental health issues without fear of prejudicial treatment or attitudes towards them.”
Cllr Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services, said: “Time to Change is doing fantastic work across the country and in Cumbria, helping to challenge the stigma attached to this significant cause of disability.
“It can be difficult to talk about mental health problems, so awareness days like Time to Talk allow us to all play a role and talk openly about mental health, which can make a huge difference to those experiencing a mental health issue.
“With the right support from those around them, people can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life.”
Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Starting discussions and talking openly about mental health can help to break down stereotypes and take away stigma from something that can affect us all.
“Time to Change Champions will support the council’s workforce of over 6,000 people to talk more openly about mental health and seek support when they need it.”