As we head towards Time to Talk Day on 7 February, it highlights yet again for me, the importance of talking about mental health. Things are changing slowly; there are well-known celebrities for example who talk publicly about their mental health difficulties. The reality sadly, for large numbers of people, is that stigma and fear are very real issues. Stigma continues to prevent many people from asking for help. Fear, not knowing what to say and worrying that talking about mental health may prompt someone to harm themselves,  prevents other people from asking about how someone REALLY is.

As I commented back in 2015 on World Suicide Prevention Day: “Suicide often follows a complex series of distressing events and circumstances, such as financial difficulties, relationship break down and chronic physical illness… But suicide is not inevitable and suicide prevention activities can help.”

For the full article click on the link below.

http://www.sompar.nhs.uk/latest-news/world-suicide-prevention-day/

I believe that talking about mental health is one of the most powerful suicide prevention activities. Yes, there are other concerning issues relating to mental health support and treatment, particularly access to help at the time it is needed, but they are beyond the scope of this short article. Talking about mental health is something that everyone can get involved with.

If you’ve ever doubted the power of talking, do check out the story about Jonny Benjamin in the link below. He was talked down from a bridge by a stranger.

http://www.thestrangeronthebridge.com/#the-story