With one in four people experiencing a mental health problem in any given year, health care partners in Coventry and Warwickshire are using Time to Talk Day today (Thursday February 6) to remind people there’s no better time to talk about mental health than the present.
Research shows that people are often afraid to talk about their mental health experiences because they fear the response and stigma they may receive.
However, open, direct and honest conversations can break down barriers, helping to end the isolation, shame and worthlessness that too many people feel when experiencing a mental health problem.
Anyone worried about someone and not sure how to approach a conversation, the Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Care Partnership launched the Stay Alive app, a free suicide prevention pocket resource which contains tips and practical steps to help support someone feeling suicidal.
The app also contains local mental health and suicide prevention information all in one place, as well as customisable features like the LifeBox to store photos and memories.
Designed for everyone, this is an easily accessible and supportive app aimed to keep minds at ease. Find out more about the Stay Alive app here: http://ow.ly/2hwM50vT4L8
In partnership with Mental Health Matters (MHM), the Health and Care Partnership launched the Coventry Safe Haven at the start of the year at Broad Street Centre, Broad Street, Coventry, CV6 5AX.
The drop-in service is for anyone aged 18 and over in the Coventry area who is feeling distressed, worried or in need of mental health support.
They also provide out of hours face-to-face and telephone support for Coventry residents experiencing mental distress, find out more here: https://www.mhm.org.uk/coventry-safe-haven
Coventry City Council Cllr Kamran Caan, portfolio holder for public health and Wellbeing said: “Time to Talk day is so important and focuses on conversations having the power to change lives.
"This can help to end isolation in communities and bring people together, breaking down the stigma and shame that many of us feel when experiencing a mental health problem. Today we want the whole city to have a mental health conversation.”
Warwickshire County Council portfolio holder for adult social care & health, Cllr Les Caborn, said: “Creating a conversation around mental health is important to help end the stigma that too many of us feel.
"There are a range of mental health services across Warwickshire to support our residents, delivered in a range of ways, making them accessible to all. To find out more visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/mentalhealth.”
Anne Prendergast, lead officer for clinical risk and suicide prevention at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “We are taking part in Time to Talk day because we want to remind residents that it’s okay to not to be okay and the more we talk, the more lives we can change.
“With supportive tools like the Stay Alive app, having a conversation with another person can be easier and can provide them with the right advice to help someone in need. I would highly recommend downloading Stay Alive today.
“By choosing to be open about mental health, we are all part of a movement that’s changing the conversation around mental health and ensuring that no one is made to feel isolated or alone for having a mental health problem.”
Time to Talk Day is organised by Time to Change, the campaign to change how we all think and act about mental health problems, led by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.
Time to Talk Day aims to get as many people as possible talking about mental health.
Zero Suicide Alliance
The Health and Care Partnership is a member of the Zero Suicide Alliance, a collaboration of NHS trusts, businesses and individuals who are committed to suicide prevention in the UK and beyond.
The alliance offers free 20 minute online suicide prevention training which helps people identify suicidal behaviour in an individual and advises how to speak in a supportive manner and signpost them to the correct services or support. Accessible to all, the training can be found here: https://www.zerosuicidealliance.com/.
Every Mind Matters
Nationally, Public Health England (PHE) launched Every Mind Matters, a free NHS-approved online resource which provides expert advice, practical tips, and experiences from real people to help manage mental health issues and those of others. Visit www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
Mental Health Matters
Speak to a trained professional at Mental Health Matters, which operates a free 24-hour help line for Coventry and Warwickshire residents. It is open 365 days a year and provides an independent and confidential service to anyone who has a query about mental health related issues.
Visit: www.mhm.org.uk/coventry-warwickshire-helpline or call 0800 616171.
Mental Health Matters Safe Havens
There is also a walk-in service available - there's no need to be referred by your GP or Care Coordinator.
The Safe Havens offer two welcoming, safe, comfortable, non-judgmental and non-clinical environments where they will be able to provide information and emotional support if you are in crisis or feel you are heading towards a crisis situation.
You can come just for a cup of tea and a chat, or you can access one-to-one emotional support from trained mental health professionals.
Visit: www.mhm.org.uk/warwickshire-safe-havens or call 07483 991763 (Leamington Spa).
Leamington Spa Safe Haven open 6-11pm, Monday to Wednesday