As one in four of us will experience a mental health issue at some point in our lives, Hampshire County Council is encouraging people to start a conversation this Time to Talk Day, 7 February, and help change perceptions around mental health.
Councillor Patricia Stallard, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Public Health, and the Authority’s Mental Health Champion, said:
People are often afraid to talk about mental health, but just starting a conversation or listening to someone talk about how they feel is a valuable step to taking the stigma out of something that can affect us all. Having a cup of tea with someone or going for a walk can be all that’s needed. You don’t have to be an expert to talk or to listen.
In October 2018, the Local Authority launched its Five Ways to Well-being campaign, aiming to encourage people to make their own well-being a priority by, for example, connecting with others. Having conversations about mental health helps to make it more acceptable to open up, breaks down stereotypes and builds supportive relationships.
For those in Hampshire experiencing common mental health problems, such as anxiety, stress or depression, there is a range of support available, some of which is available without the need for a GP referral. I-talk is an NHS commissioned service for those who are 16 or over and registered with a GP. It operates in Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Bordon, Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Hartley Wintney, Havant, Hook, the New Forest, Odiham, Petersfield, Romsey and Winchester. Talkplus is a similar service operating in North East Hampshire.
Other sources of help and self-help include:
Rethink Mental illness
MIND and Hampshire Wellbeing Centres, commissioned by the County Council and run by MIND
Moodzone (NHS Choices) and Every Mind Matters (NHS)
Connect to Support Hampshire