image of people talking about mental health

One in four of us are affected by mental health every year, and many of us have experienced low moods, anxiety and stress at some point in our lives.

Award-winning mental health provider Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust will be getting behind Time to Talk Day, on Thursday 4 February with a series of activities which aim to inspire people to talk about mental health. People will be sharing their experience online, getting involved in the Trust’s Twitter chat debate and staff will be encouraging people to talk about mental health at Sainsbury’s in Keighley in a bid to end the stigma surrounding mental health illness.

The day is part of Time to Change’s national campaign, which aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness by getting people to talk openly about issues that can affect us all.

Activities led by the Trust will include a Twitter chat with the Trust’s mental health nurse, Kayleigh Abbott on 4 February 2016, 1pm to 2pm, who will also reveal 10 top tips for helping someone you are concerned may have a mental health problem.

Kayleigh said: “It is so common to experience low moods, anxiety and stress at some points in our lives.  Sometimes we do need to seek support to help us find our way through this. There is so much support and services out there from apps and websites to talking to your GP to help you lift the burden, so you don’t have to feel you are on your own.”

For over six years, Kayleigh has been providing outreach care for people in the community to help them access help and support within their homes.  Kayleigh is part of the Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust award-winning First Response Service, which provides mental health crisis support and also offers guidance on the range of services available through the Trust.

Working in partnership with Bradford Council, the Trust is inviting members of the public to visit Sainsbury’s in Keighley on Time to Talk Day to speak out about mental health.  Staff will be available between 10 am to 4 pm to offer free friendly advice and guidance at 1, Sainsburys Centre, Cavendish Street, Keighley BD21 3RU. A Time to Talk coffee morning will also be held by staff at the Trust’s Airedale Centre for Mental Health, for staff and patients, in support of ending the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems.

According to a study conducted by the Mental Health Foundation, approximately 12 million adults in the UK see their GP with mental health problems each year. Most of these suffer from anxiety and depression and much of this is stress-related. By reducing the stigma surround mental illness more people may feel able to talk about mental health problems openly and get access to the support they need.

Twenty one year old Beth Allsop would like to inspire people to talk about mental health, to help people understand they are not alone.

At the age of 15 Beth became anorexic and found it difficult to cope with how she was feeling. Beth explained: “I felt so down and low and decided to seek support. I had therapy for the eating disorder and that’s when things began to improve.”

“When I started to talk about how I felt, it was a relief to know that someone understood as I was so used to bottling things up. It was quite challenging as well, but at the same time knowing someone was there to help with what I was going through made a difference. Without getting the help that I needed, I don’t know where I would be today. I definitely don’t think I would be studying and working now.”

Beth will be graduating this year from Bradford College with a degree in Media Make-up and Special Effects and hopes to work in the fashion editorial industry.

Beth looks set to have a bright future ahead of her, all because she found time to talk.

Join in the debate and take part in the Trust’s Twitter chat on 4 February 2016, 1pm to 2pm by visiting:  #BDCFTistalking

The Trust’s services range from psychological therapies for people with mild to moderate mental health problems and its First Response service that offers crisis support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to its ground breaking Daisy Hill Therapy Centre for women with severe mental health problems.

We’re proud to have supported Time to Talk Day.  Were you talking?  Thanks to everyone that got involved in talking about mental health with colleagues, friends and family, on-line, at home and at local events.