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Time to Talk Day kick-starts council’s mental health project

With one in four of us experiencing a mental health problem in any given year, it’s important to address the ongoing issue by talking and spreading the message that talking about it doesn’t have to be difficult, and to support this, East Riding of Yorkshire Council has launched a one-year project to help combat mental health issues.

The project will include a series of partnership-working with local organisations, real-life case study interviews, social media campaigns, press releases, interviews with the professionals and much more as more individuals and businesses join the project throughout the year, starting with Time to Talk Day on Thursday, 1 February.

The day encourages the nation to get talking about mental health and that having a conversation with someone, whether it is face-to-face, via text or through posting on social media, can change lives.

It has been found that many people suffer with mental health problems but are too afraid to talk about how they feel. Being open about mental health, and being ready to listen to someone who thinks they may be suffering from a mental health problem, can make a positive difference to someone’s life.

Connecting with people around you is one of five things that can also help to boost mental wellbeing:

Connect – Connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships.

Be active – Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.

Keep learning – Learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence.

Give to others – Even the smallest act can count whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.

Be mindful – Be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you.

Councillor Jane Evison, portfolio holder for transforming lifestyles at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Connecting with people and talking about how you feel is important for every one of us.

“Talking helps you stay healthy and helps stop your problems getting on top of you. Talk to someone you can trust and seek help if you start to experience problems.”

John Skidmore, director of corporate strategy and commissioning at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “It’s important for everyone to talk about mental health, not just those who are dealing with it.

“By creating a one-year mental health project we are aiming to help those who may be struggling in certain areas, as well as family members and friends who may be directly affected, and to help East Riding residents see that support is available when they need it. Prevention is also an important aspect of health and wellbeing and we hope that by raising awareness of how to lead mentally healthy lives, we will contribute to a healthier East Riding.”

For more information visit www.time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday

Members of the public who wish to share their stories can help others who might be struggling with mental health issues. Sometimes hearing someone else’s story can help people realise they are not alone and that help is available.

To become involved in the project as a partner or case study, contact Kimberley Nichol by emailing Kimberley.nichol@eastriding.gov.uk or call (01482) 391444.

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