Today is Time to Talk Day, a campaign run by the Time to Change mental health charity.  It's aim is to break down some of the stigma that surrounds mental illness and get people talking about their own mental health and asking friends how their mental health is.  There is an odd taboo that surrounds mental illness where people feel an anxiety that if they talk about their own mental health this will make them vulnerable and those around them will judge them harshly and won't understand. 

The truth is mental health issues are all around us.  According to the Mental Health Foundation one in four of us will be receiving some help or treatment to help with a mental health issue.  This however only tells half the story.  The likelihood is that many more are struggling but not getting help. 

Having a five minute chat with a friend, family member or colleague about mental health doesn't need to be a big, scary thing.  It's about taking a step towards a place where mental health and physical health issues are on a equal footing and talked about with the same openness and compassion.  It's also about challenging the stigma and fear and learning to understand each other a bit better. 

To find out more about mental health issues check out the useful links section of this site and scroll down to the 'Asking for Help' and 'Managing Stress' sections.  You can also use the useful contacts fact sheet below which lists some of the services that offer support with mental health and loneliness. This can also be downloaded by visiting the worksheets section of the site.