Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall is supporting the ‘Time to Change – Ask Twice’ initiative, by raising awareness for Word Mental Health day on the 10th October and changing how we all think and act about mental health.
It’s easy to dismiss mental health problems as something that only affects others. But, with 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health problems every year, it can happen to any of us – a friend, member of the family, or work colleague.
If a colleague says they’re fine, they might not be. To really find out, ask twice – but why? When we’re asked how we are, the usual and expected response is “Fine, thanks”. But the truth is, we often say we’re fine when we’re not. If you’re worried about someone, asking twice can show you’re asking for real and willing to hear the response – whether that’s now or at a later date.
A ‘Time To Change – Ask Twice’ supporter comments: “I am not a mental health expert at all, but at the same time, as a friend, there’s nothing to stop me saying ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ ”
Mr McCall said: “It’s a simple but significant thing we can all do for each other. If we are concerned about someone and ask twice, it becomes clear that we have time, are genuinely concerned and wish to help, if we can. By caring, contributing and creating supportive networks around us we also initiate a greater sense of neighbourliness and a stronger community spirit.
“We have made progress in improving mental health services within policing in Cumbria, and by challenging attitudes and perceptions about mental health, we may prevent people’s behaviour escalating to a point of crisis.”
Without support from others, people with mental health problems can lose what they care about most. It’s a time when you need your friends, family and colleagues more than ever. So, if someone you know is acting differently, step in.