Start a conversation about mental health on Time To Talk Day

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Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board (BLMK ICB) is encouraging local people to start conversations about their own and others’ mental health on Time To Talk Day (1 February).

Time to Talk Day is an annual event.  Talking about our mental health isn’t always easy, but a conversation has the power to change lives.

Taking part doesn’t need to be a big undertaking: it could be as simple as checking in with a friend, putting up posters in your community, school or college, or just texting someone you haven’t heard from in a while.  There’s a range of resources which anyone can download to help start the conversation.

Mind, the national mental health charity, recommends that asking questions can give both people in a conversation the space to express how they’re feeling and what they’re going through, and it can help you to understand one another’s experiences better.  Sometimes it’s easier to talk side by side rather than face to face, and it’s often easier to chat while doing something else.  You could start a conversation when you’re walking, cooking or stuck in traffic. But don’t let the search for the perfect place put you off!

If you feel you are struggling with any aspect of mental health, seeking help through an NHS Talking Therapies service can be one of the best steps you can take to overcome your issues and get back on track.

NHS Talking Therapies can help provide support and treatment for common mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, panic attacks, flashbacks or nightmares about upsetting events from your past, stress, obsessive thoughts, fear of social situations, and being afraid of things (such as spiders, flying or heights).

You do not need to have a diagnosed mental health problem to refer yourself to an NHS Talking Therapies service. Getting support as soon as you start having difficulties can help to reduce their impact.

Dr Sarah Whiteman, chief medical director at Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board, said:

“Looking after your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health.  If you feel that you are struggling, you may need to take steps to ensure you are getting the help that you need.

“Talking therapies are one of many ways that can help with the treatment of mental health conditions, speak to your GP if you are having difficulties and they can talk through the right option for you.”

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