Bradford City FC and Bradford Bulls are amongst numerous local organisations and businesses lending their voices to Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s local Time to Talk campaign, which culminates with Time to Talk Day on Thursday 6 February.

“Would you rather…?” is the question at the heart of this year’s campaign which aims to get us not only thinking about mental health but talking about it and seeking help if necessary.

Most people experience low moods, anxiety and stress at some point in their life and each year one in four of us has a mental health challenge. Talking about it can help. The Time to Talk campaign led nationally by Time to Change, aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness by getting people to do just that – talk openly about issues that can affect us all.

Award winning mental health trust, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust is supporting the campaign locally, aiming to spark conversations in schools, colleges, homes and workplaces by focusing on questions like:

• Would you rather bury your head in the sand and hope it goes away or talk to someone and get some help?
• Would you rather go round-and-round the problem until you’re tangled in its web or talk to us?
• Would you rather be stung time and again by painful thoughts or learn how to deal with them?

Staff across the Care Trust are backing the campaign with a series of activities to encourage people to open-up about their own mental health challenges and support others to do so.

People are pledging their support and sharing their experience online, starting the conversation about mental health in cafes, supermarkets, at the local hairdressers, with their local cabbie and across the community.

Local organisations who are involved include Bradford Metropolitan District Council, NHS Bradford District and Craven CCGs, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Keighley College, Shipley College, The Cellar Trust, West Yorkshire Police, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and BCB Radio.

Bradford City FC and Bradford Bulls have also lent their voices to the campaign. Chief Executive of Bradford City FC’s Community Foundation Ian Ormondroyd said: “The communication between the lads as well as their skill on the pitch is what brings a win for us. And if someone’s feeling stressed or down then they’re not going to be playing at their best, so we always encourage them to talk about it. If you don’t explain what’s wrong, how can anyone help?”

Players from Bradford City FC show their support for Time to Talk 2020

Bradford Bulls backs the Time to Talk campaign and has recently been working with adult mental health service users at Bradford District Care Trust’s Lynfield Mount Hospital.

Paul Mitchell, Head of foundation at the Bradford Bulls said: “Sport has the power to build resilience and confidence and create an environment conducive to bringing people out of their shell. After a consultation with Lynfield Mount Hospital we felt that these attributes could be of great benefit to their adult mental health service users. Inclusive multi-skilled sports, occupational therapy, stadium tours and heritage talks have been received really well by users and staff alike with feedback proving that the sessions have been of real value.”

Sean Scott Hairdressing support Time to TalkWe can all start the conversation about mental health – or listen if someone chooses to talk – it could be having a chat in a caff over coffee and cake with a neighbor, playing in the park with friends and saying what’s worrying you, or asking a colleague to take a break with you to go for a walk and a talk.

And if you’re with someone who is stressed, anxious or feeling low, the Care Trust has some top tips for boosting mood on its website, as well as downloadable materials so you can support Time to Talk day in your own way.

A local company which has pledged its support is Sean Scott Hairdressing in Saltaire. Hairdresser Sean Troth said: “My sister is a mental health nurse so I’m aware of the really important work our local Care Trust does – but it’s not just professionals who can help. We can all do our bit to lift people’s spirits. As hairdressers we find ourselves doing that all the time – it’s a cut, a chat and a laugh here! We want people to feel good about their haircut and their mental health.”

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Carers Hubs coffee clubs and Four Seasons Café at Lynfield Mount Hospital are running cake and chat events on Time to Talk Day, during which they’ll play the ‘would you rather’ game. Champions Show the Way, which provides a range of interesting, sociable activities led by dedicated volunteer community health champions, are getting their walking groups involved too.

The free Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust service, MyWellbeing College, designed to help people navigate their way through life’s ups and downs, also backs the campaign and will be encouraging people to get talking about everyday problems that can affect our mood and to seek help if needs be.

Heena Jahangir, a psychological therapist with MyWellbeing College, commented: “Would you rather?… is an important question for us all. Would we rather leave something to get worse or take some action?

“If you’re feeling low, stressed or anxious, or you’re having problems sleeping, then tell someone – and take a look at the MyWellbeing College website – We’ve lots of great free advice, guides, tools and assistance.”

People can register themselves online at for phone advice, online courses and self-help workbooks to increase their personal wellbeing, or choose to attend one-to-one courses at a range of locations.

To see all the ways local people are getting behind the Time to Talk campaign and to pledge your own support visit Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s facebook page and twitter account – @BDCFT.