In recent years, mental health has become more openly discussed than ever. After all, it is something that affects every single one of us – whether we experience our own struggles with mental health or support a loved one through theirs. An incredible 792 million people are affected by mental health issues worldwide, with 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health issues each year.

But when such a magnitude of the population is affected by mental health, much more progress needs to be made in destigmatising these issues. Many people all over the world find it hard to talk about their experiences with poor mental health – with concerns about how they will be perceived by friends, family and even professionally.

40% of men have never spoken about their mental health, and this secrecy has not been aided by the recent Covid-19
pandemic – the likelihood of girls hiding poor mental health has now risen from 60% to a staggering 80% since the beginning of the pandemic.

So, what can we do to tackle the feelings of shame around mental health issues? Well, that’s where Time to Talk comes in! Time to Talk Day is a special event that takes place on the 2nd February and is a great opportunity to make a small difference. A UK wide campaign, run by Time to Change in Wales, Time to Talk Day is all about creating a supportive environment to chat to friends, families, and colleagues about mental health.

Time to Talk Day believes that talking about mental health can transform lives. They support communities across the UK to open up about how important mental wellbeing really is – offering pointers on how to bring up these conversations within employment, education, local clubs, and communities.

Their work makes a huge difference to those who engage with it, with recent research showing that open conversations have a positive impact on everyone’s general mental wellbeing. Their partnership with Co-op has allowed them to raise over £8 million for various mental health charities and provide vital funds for wellbeing services in local communities across the UK.

So, how can you get involved? Whether its sharing social media posts with the #TimeToTalk, encouraging those you know to start a conversation, or organising activities and events in your community – even the smallest of steps go a long way! Make sure to sign up for news, tips and stories about Time to Talk Day on their website. This year, let your voice be heard and listen to the voices of others – it’s time to tackle our mental health!

Remember, mental health issues can’t be solved in a day – make sure to keep the conversation going past 2nd February! If you want to start making a change for your mental health, check out the Mental Health & Wellbeing Show’s free webinars or take a look at some of the Ajuda Foundation courses on improving your mental wellbeing. And if you want to see how much people have achieved by starting a simple conversation about mental health, check out the fantastic Mental Health & Wellbeing Wales Awards! You can find all the info on our websites, Eventbrite and social media channels!