Apprentices working on the Healthy Minds programme are backing this year’s ‘Time to Talk Day’ on Thursday 3 February by encouraging people to start having a conversation about mental health and have shared videos of their own experiences to get people to open up.

Having conversations offers people a chance to start to talk openly about their mental health and feel empowered to seek help when they need it. The Healthy Minds apprentices, a group of young people who educate children and young people to look after their mental health and accessing support when they need it by visiting the Healthy Minds website (run by the local NHS, Mind in Bradford and Bradford Council through the health and care partnership for Bradford District and Craven – Act as One).

Toni, Healthy Minds Apprentice, said: “The Healthy Minds apprentices are passionate about mental health. We all have lived experience of mental health and at some point, in our lives we’ve found it difficult to open up about our mental health. Opening about your mental health can be quite difficult but staying silent isn’t the answer, it’s important to seek help when you need it whether it’s accessing support services, talking to a healthcare professional like your GP or someone you trust.

“Time to Talk Day, gives people an opportunity to start a conversation about mental health, you can do this by having a tea or coffee and if you don’t feel comfortable doing this face-to-face, set up a virtual coffee or tea meet up. You can arrange this with a friend or a group of friends or your work colleagues, starting the conversation can help you and others.

“When we had the first lockdown back in March 2020, I found it hard to talk to my family about how I was feeling, I decided to hide away and not speak to anyone. September 2021 was the turning point for me as I knew I was going through depression, I went to see my GP and we came up with some coping strategies which helped me, so I’m glad I got the help that I needed. I’ve done a short clip talking about my depression, I hope other young people find this useful so that they can also talk to someone.”

People can find support by visiting the Health Minds website or visiting the MyWellbeing College website which helps people manage everyday problems, such as feeling low, having problems sleeping, feeling anxious and experiencing stress.

Phil Hubbard, Director of Nursing at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We encourage mental health conversations to take place throughout the year, having Time to Talk Day allows us as a nation to get these conversations going and most importantly end mental health discrimination. People should be able to talk openly about their mental health and get the support they need without having to feel they’re being judged.

“Our Healthy Minds apprentices have shared their experiences of opening up about their mental health and how it helped them, I’m hoping this encourages others to open up about their mental health. If you know someone who hasn’t been themselves lately, speak or call them and ask if they’re doing OK as this can make a real difference.”

Videos from the Healthy Minds apprentices:

People who want to share their story or have tips they would like to share, can tag in Healthy Minds on Twitter @healthymindsbdc Facebook @HealthyMindsBDC and Instagram @healthyminds.bdc using #TimeToTalk

Anyone that is in a crisis, please contact Bradford District and Craven First Response on 0800 952 1181 (all calls are free) operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

People wanting to talk, can access Guide-Line, which has its phone lines open between 12pm to 12am on 08001 884 884 (all calls are free), and can be accessed online between 3pm to 9pm.