Workplaces, schools and community groups across Lanarkshire joined the UK’s biggest conversation on mental health as part of Time to Talk Day.
Time to Talk Day (February 3), which trended at number one in Scotland on social media, is the day that friends, families, communities, and workplaces come together to talk, listen and change lives.
And research has shown that, two years into the coronavirus pandemic, these conversations are important.
This year’s Time to Talk Day saw a range of activities and events take place across Lanarkshire, with workplaces, schools, community groups, sports clubs, friends and family doing their bit to start the conversation on mental health, with a focus on not just talking , but listening too.
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SAMH’s (Scottish Association for Mental Health) new Community Connections program made an impact with a series of workshops and training that upskills local residents, community organizations and local small and individual businesses in Kilsyth, Chapelhall, Craigneuk and Shotts.
Elsewhere in Lanarkshire, schools including Holy Cross High School in Hamilton and Airdrie Academy hosted Time to Talk Day-themed events for staff and pupils, as well as fundraising activities inspired by the day. North Lanarkshire Carers Together marked the event with some new videos aimed at men and South and South East Asian communities in the local authority.
Audrey Bremner, program coordinator at Stigma Free Lanarkshire, said: “Mental health is just as important as physical health and it’s with us wherever we go. The people of Lanarkshire embraced Time to Talk Day within communities, workplaces, schools, friends amongst and beyond.
“Sometimes it can be hard to open up to others about mental health, which is why Time to Talk is such a useful tool to get that conversation going any day of the year. We really can change lives by reducing stigma and building caring, supportive communities.”
Just over one in four (26 per cent) Scots surveyed who have experienced a worsening of their mental health for the first time during the pandemic have yet to have a conversation about it, according to a new poll.
The survey of 1001 people across Scotland also revealed that nearly one in five people (19 per cent) who were already struggling with a mental health problem when the pandemic hit said they haven’t spoken to anyone about their mental health since the pandemic started.
And 43 per cent of those whose mental health has worsened during the pandemic said that they haven’t spoken to anyone because they felt like everyone has been struggling and they are no different, while almost one in three (31 per cent) said that they didn’t feel comfortable talking about their mental health.
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The Time to Talk Day poll, which surveyed people both with and without experience of mental health problems, also showed that 44 per cent of people reported worsening mental health since the pandemic began in March 2020.
Encouragingly, of those who had spoken about their mental health, an overwhelming majority of 71 per cent reported that this had been a positive experience – showing that there is real power in opening up – and 62 per cent of respondents agreed that it is getting easier to talk about mental health.
Find out how you can continue to tackle mental health stigma beyond Time to Talk Day at seemescotland.org/SeeUs.
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