Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging staff to get talking about mental health as part of the nationwide Time to Talk Day (February 7).
Across the organisation staff were invited to take part in events about the importance of talking about mental health, with the intention of motivating more open conversations.
The national Time to Talk Day is organised by Time to Change, the campaign to change how we all think about and act on mental health problems, led by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. Sheffield Children’s is also making sure that the opportunity to talk about mental health continues after the 7 February and is putting in place training for staff to provide support for anyone with mental health problems. Professional support is also available.
Staff at Sheffield Children’s will have a designated group of trusted colleagues to go to if they need some support and advice around mental health. The mental health first aiders, qualified through Mental Health First Aid England, are separate from previous support systems at the trust. They provide the chance for staff to speak confidentially to another member of staff separate from their team about any concerns, issues or simply for signposting to organisations around mental health.
Time to Talk Day aims to get as many people as possible talking about mental health. People can struggle to talk about mental health, so this year Time to Change is highlighting that there are lots of different ways to have a conversation about mental health. And you don’t have to be an expert to talk. At Sheffield Children’s the launch of the mental health first aiders is another step in the direction to encourage everyone to talk about mental health and support one another.
Since its launch in 2014, Time to Talk Day has sparked millions of conversations in schools, homes, workplaces, in the media and online, and attracted support from celebrities such as Freddie Flintoff, Stephen Fry and Frankie Bridge. Sheffield Children’s will join thousands of other groups, schools and members of the public, who will all be having conversations about mental health on Time to Talk Day.
John Somers, Chief Executive of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said: “I am really proud of the team of mental health first aiders here at Sheffield Children’s. We are taking part in Time to Talk Day because mental health is a topic that we should all feel able to talk about. Having these all important conversations can make a big difference to many people and our support team now available to staff is invaluable.”
Jo Loughran, Director of Time to Change, said: “Mental health problems are common and can affect any one of us, yet too often people are afraid to talk openly about mental health for fear of being judged. There are lots of different ways to have a conversation about mental health. And you don’t have to be an expert to talk. Whether you’re talking on a walk, or listening over a cuppa, your chat can make a big difference. However you do it, make a conversation about mental health this Time to Talk Day.”
One in four of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year, but many of us are too afraid to talk about it. Starting a conversation about mental health might seem daunting but simply sending a text, checking in on a friend or sharing something on social media can break the ice. More tips can be found at the Time to Talk website.
For information about Time to Talk Day and how you can get involved please visit the Time to Talk website.