Download a free background for Time to Talk conversationsSmall conversations have the power to make a big difference when it comes to mental health, says Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, which is this week sharing conversation starters, mood boosters and wellbeing tips – as well as virtual bunting for online get togethers, as it encourages local people to take part in the local ‘Time to Talk’ campaign.

Time to Talk, which culminates on Time to Talk Day Thursday 4 February, is led nationally by Time to Change. The campaign aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness by getting people to talk openly about issues that can affect us all, like stress, anxiety, feeling low or not sleeping well.

The pandemic, its restrictions and the impact on normal life mean more people than ever may be experiencing mental health issues so it’s important to reach out if you know someone is not their usual self.

Service manager Naomi Holdsworth from the Trust’s MyWellbeing College says: “It’s as simple as giving someone a call or sending them a text. Just making contact and asking someone how they are, and being there to listen, could make their day, as well as make a big difference to their state of mind.”

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust has been involved with the Time to Talk campaign for several years and usually organizes a variety of activities including getting together in person for a coffee and chat, walk and talk, crafts and conversation – or just a kick about in the park, but this year the emphasis is on virtual activities that people can do from home.

“We’d love people to take part in Time to Talk this week by simply making the time to make a call – or going all out organising an online get together. We say ‘bring out the bunting’ for a virtual Time To Talk tea party or coffee morning!”

To make it easy for everyone to have a virtual get together, the Trust is sharing a free ‘Power of Small’ bunting background which can be downloaded to use on Microsoft Teams or Zoom as you enjoy tea and biscuits or coffee and cakes at home. They are also asking local people to share their tips on how they have dealt with the trials and tribulations of the past year and the current lockdown.

Naomi says: “Many people have found interesting and unusual ways to stay positive that could help others – so if that’s you, please do share your tips with us using the Twitter handle @BDCFT, hashtags #BDCTTimeToTalk and #KeepHope, or posting on our Facebook page @bdct02 in the run-up to, and on, Time to Talk Day. We’d love to hear your stories.”

Visit the Trust’s Time to Talk page for more information and downloadable resources, or the Knowledge Bank on their MyWellbeing College website for free advice and information to deal with common everyday problems including anxiety, stress, low mood, sleep problems, and depression.

MyWellbeing College also offers more in-depth support through its online courses, self-help workbooks and 121 talking therapies with full details and registration at the MyWellbeing College website.