Cumbria County Council is backing a national campaign, from the national ‘Time to Change’ movement, encouraging people to take the time to talk about mental health and wellbeing.
Time to Talk Day on Thursday, February 4, is part of a nationwide push to get people talking more openly about mental health and asks them to talk about mental health and wellbeing for 24 hours.
It is organised by Time to Change, a growing movement of people changing how we all think and act about mental health problems.
Cumbria County Council signed the Time to Change pledge in 2017, joining hundreds of organisations all over the country in pledging commitment to changing how we think and act about mental health in the workplace.
Last year, the council launched a Mental Health Charter – this outlines how they plan to embed the message and make improvements through activities such as staff training and support.
The county council has a team of more than 100 members of staff who act as Mental Health First Aiders or Time to Change Champions in addition to their usual roles.
They are members of council staff with lived experience, and who are happy to talk openly about mental health.
They play a key role in helping the council make mental health a normal topic of conversation, dispelling myths and making it easier for employees to seek support.
Cllr Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services, said: “Time to Change is doing fantastic work across the country and in Cumbria, helping to battle this significant cause of disability.
“It can be difficult to talk about mental health problems, so awareness days like Time to Talk allow us to all play a role and talk openly about mental health, it can make a huge difference to those experiencing a mental health issue.
“With the right support from those around them, people can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life.”
Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “Starting discussions and talking openly about mental health can help to break down stereotypes and take away stigma from something that can affect us all.
“Our Mental Health First Aiders and Time to Change Champions support the council’s workforce of over 6,000 people to talk more openly about mental health and seek support when they need it.”