NHS in Leeds support Time to Talk Day

NHS in Leeds support Time to Talk Day

Leeds NHS is encouraging people in Leeds to have open conversations about mental health to support them Time for Talking Day.

Time to Talk Day is an annual mental health campaign taking place today (February 2, 2023). The day focuses on creating a safe space for friends, families, communities and workplaces to come together to talk, listen and have conversations about mental health.

The campaign, which is a partnership of many organizations including Mind, Rethink Mental Illness, Time to Change Wales, Co-Op and more, aims to reduce stigma and encourage everyone to feel good when speaking about mental health, while helping to create supportive communities where people feel empowered to seek help when they need it.

NHS England has found that one in four adults and one in ten children has a mental illness and many more of us know and care for people with mental illness.

Adam Stewart, a mental health first responder at NHS ICB in Leeds, talks about his role and what it means to him:

“I am a Mental Health First Responder at the ICB in Leeds and it is my job, like a ‘traditional’ first responder, to be there for someone when they are going through a mental health crisis or emergency. This means we are there to protect someone and direct them to the right health services when needed. However, I am a firm believer that, similar to many aspects of health, if we are more aware and open about what we are going through or need to address, we can avoid these crises in some situations. A mentally healthy lifestyle/environment (at home or in the workplace) is central to this, and fostering a culture of feeling comfortable speaking up in these situations is an integral part of our role as mental health first responders.

“We hear a lot about it’s okay to talk, and that’s absolutely true, but we (not just mental health first responders, we all) need to be there to listen to those who need to talk; You don’t have to have the solutions or even know exactly what someone is going through, sometimes being a sounding board is enough, but really being there for someone is so, so important. This can start with building a relationship with someone, it can be scary just opening up to a potential stranger.

“Anything that gets someone talking and makes them feel like they’re not alone, and you don’t have to be a mental health first responder to do that.”

There are also many different places to go for mental health support in Leeds. For more information, see: www.healthandcareleeds.org/health/mental-health-services and the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership Website.

This post is based on a press release by NHS Leeds

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