What is Time to Talk?

Time to talk 2021 this year falls on Thursday 4th February. Throughout this campaign, it gives the chance for people to open up to mental health by talking and listening to others. Through even small conversations about mental health can make a huge difference. Time to talk wants to encourage you to get involved, raise awareness and get talking.

Talking tips

There is no right way for you to talk about mental health with someone; however, these tips will provide the necessary support and guidance to assist you in approaching mental health in a helpful way.

For more tips on talking mental health, be sure to visit Time to Change website.

Ask questions and listen

Asking questions can give the person space to express how they are feeling and what they are going through. It will help you to further understand their experience with mental health. When asking questions make sure they are open and not judgemental. For example “What does it feel like?” or “How do you feel?”

Time and place

Sometimes it’s easier to talk side by side rather than face to face. So, if you are talking in person – try to chat while doing an activity like walking, cooking, playing a video game. There are many great places where you could naturally start a conversation about mental health. As previously mentioned these conversations should come naturally so don’t spend too much time focusing the perfect place to start off a conversation.

Don’t try to fix it

It is hard to see people you care about having a hard time but you do not have to try “fix it”. The urge to offer a quick fix is always there but it is something you have to resist. Through learning a way to manage and recover from mental health will most assuredly be a tough, long journey. Something that the person you are speaking to have most likely already considered. But the best thing you can do is listen! Let them talk to you, its effective.

Treat them the same

Just because someone has a mental health problem is does not mean they are someone else – they are still the same person as before. Therefore, when someone opens up about mental health, they do not want to be treated any different. The best way you can support them is do the things you normally do. It is that simple!

Be Patient

No matter how hard you try, some people might not be ready to talk about what they are through. There is no rush – that is completely okay. Just the fact you have tried to talk to them will make it easier for them later on to open up to you. In addition, there are plenty of alternate ways to support someone if you’re not talking, for example:

  • Do things together.
  • Sending a text letting them know you are thinking of them.
  • Offer to help with daily tasks.
  • Send a gift like flowers with a nice message for them on it.


Once again, these tips can be found by visiting Time to Change website. As further information, you may find helpful

Don't be a stranger

The pandemic and all the lockdowns have made it tough to meet up with others and for some people with mental health problems that isolation can be even more daunting. People with mental health problems might feel anxious or down making it tough to be sociable. Some may even feel that they are a burden to their friends and family.

Why not take some time to reach out to these people especially if you have not heard from them in a while. Some helpful tips are to:

  • Be yourself and stay in contact
  • It is common to feel frustrated especially if you are putting in all the effort, but please try to be patient – things may be tough for them.
  • Even if they do not respond to your attempts to get in touch will mean something to them and will be appreciated. Mental health can be overwhelming; sometimes it’s hard for them to maintain a “normal life”.

Close to home

Sometimes family members might be suffering though mental health problems but are having trouble opening up and having that first initial conversation about it. This is even more so in children – did you know 1 in 8 young people will experience mental health problems. You can help your children or other family members understand their own wellbeing. There are a few tips below that can help you out:

  • Find ways about mental health that work for you. If a family member does have a mental health problem it’s nice to start a conversation, preferably something you can both relate to.
  • Do not be afraid to talk about sensitive mental health problems like self-harm. It will not make them more likely experience it but will make them feel more comfortable asking for help sooner – if they need it.
  • There is still a lot of stigma around mental health so it can be hard to get others to open up about mental health – especially if they are coming to terms with it. However, do not be afraid to talk to your family members about it, as they might not feel comfortable talking about it but they will open up to you when they are ready.
  • Reinforce to them the fact that mental health problems are common; it is nothing to be ashamed of!



Get involved – Activity ideas


With the pandemic many of the usual events will have be taken virtually – but do not get discouraged you can still jump in and get involved! Here are some ideas that you can get going:

Walk and Talk

Organise a lunchtime walk and talk with your colleagues (socially distanced) and talk about mental health on Time to Talk Day.


Mental Health Quiz and Bingo

On the Time to Change website there are resources that will help you start conversations, test mental health knowledge. Or even get fellow colleagues talking mental health with Time to Change’s ready-made interactive bingo card.


Pledge Board

Create a board in the workplace so staff can create pledges about how we think about mental health. In addition, to what acts they can take to raise awareness.


Here at Lench’s Trust we have been making the effort to utilise all of the resources to get involved with the Time to Talk campaign allowing all our staff members to learn more and get talking about mental health.

Please visit Time To Change | let's end mental health discrimination (time-to-change.org.uk) for more information and resources if you are interested in taking part in the campaign on Thursday 4th February.