Today, February 1st, is Time to Talk day in the UK. This campaign aims to reduce the stigma and discrimination around mental illness, and encourage people to talk about their mental health.
Days like today which aim to raise awareness of mental health problems are important to change the conversation around mental health. By raising awareness they also highlight the problems of funding and resources: mental illness is still not treated with the same importance as most physical health problems, with some people left on long waiting lists to access care (e.g. Hovish et al 2012).
These statistics reproduced from Mental Health UK show the scale of the global burden of mental illness:
- Mental health problems are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide.
- Mental health and behavioural problems (e.g. depression, anxiety and drug use) are reported to be the primary drivers of disability worldwide, causing over 40 million years of disability in 20 to 29-year-olds.
- Major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the burden of suicide and ischemic heart disease.
- It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem.
Did anything surprise you? If an estimated 1 in 6 people are currently experiencing a problem with their mental health then why is it still not something we feel we can talk about openly? By joining in the conversation, you can make a difference in how mental illness is perceived and help reduce the stigma. Talking about mental health can also make a big difference to people struggling with mental illness at all stages of their recovery.
If you’re interested and would like to find out more then click here to access their website.
One of the great features about the website is that it contains clear advice on what to do if you think a friend, colleague or family member is struggling with their mental health. If you’re worried about someone and would like some help then follow this link to find out more: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/about-mental-health/support-someone
Thanks for reading – if you liked this post then please share, with the hashtag #timetotalk
Hovish, K., Weaver, T., Islam, Z., Paul, M. and Singh, S.P., 2012. Transition experiences of mental health service users, parents, and professionals in the United Kingdom: a qualitative study. Psychiatric rehabilitation journal, 35(3), p.251.