Have a conversation about mental health this Time to Talk Day

Posted: 01/02/24

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) is backing Time to Talk Day, which aims to get the nation talking openly about mental health.

This year’s campaign takes place on Thursday 1 February. Led by charities Rethink Mental Illness and Mind, Time to Talk Day encourages people to make time to start conversations about mental health with their friends, family and colleagues.

Talking about mental health isn’t always easy and sometimes it’s even harder to say how you really feel. But a conversation has the power to change lives.

Katherine McGleenan, nurse consultant for suicide prevention research at CNTW, said: “You don’t have to be an expert to chat to someone about their mental health. Just giving them time and space to share their feelings can make all the difference and speaking up around those issues can help save lives.

“Many people don’t feel confident to help someone who might be struggling. There’s a misconception that talking to someone about suicide will put the idea in their head, but evidence shows asking someone if they’re suicidal can help protect them. An open conversation can be a vital first step for them starting to get help.

“The stigma around talking about mental health can lead to people who are struggling not knowing where or how to ask for help. I want everyone, whatever their circumstances, to know what support is available and to know how to access support easily if they need to. No one should feel they need to cope alone.”

There are lots of ways to get involved this Time to Talk Day. It could be something as simple as a post-it note on someone’s desk or a text to a friend you’ve not heard from for a while.

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year. Research shows how important conversations are to support everyone’s mental wellbeing. Talking about mental health reduces stigma, helping to create supportive communities where we can talk openly about mental health and feel empowered to seek help when we need it.

If staff need any wellbeing support, the Thrive website is a dedicated space for employee wellbeing information. It includes everything you need to know, from support available for emotional and physical health, to benefits and discounts, career development and occupational health.

If you are feeling concerned about your wellbeing and would like to speak to someone, our Employee Assistance Programme provider is available 24/7, 365 days a year by calling 0800 023 9324 or by visiting the website.

For NTW Solutions staff, PAM Assist is available via telephone or webchat 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Call PAM Assist on 0800 882 4102 at any time.

If people are in distress and need urgent help, our services are open for anyone to call, 24 hours a day:

North Cumbria

All ages – 0800 652 2865

(Text number for people who are Deaf and/ or have communication difficulties – 07795 656 226)

Newcastle and Gateshead

Adults – 0800 652 2863

Children and young people – 0800 652 2864

(Text number for people who are Deaf and/ or have communication difficulties – 07919 228 548)

North Tyneside and Northumberland

All ages – 0800 652 2861

(Text number for people who are Deaf and/ or have communication difficulties – 07887 625 277)

South Tyneside and Sunderland

Adults – 0800 6522867

Children and young people – 0800 652 2868

(Text number for people who are Deaf and/ or have communication difficulties – 07889 036 280

If you or another person have been harmed or are at immediate risk, you may require an emergency response; contact 999.

Some other useful helplines are:

Samaritans – phone 116 123 or email [email protected]

CALM – an anonymous, confidential helpline and webchat, open 5pm to midnight every day, phone 0800 58 58 58 or visit www.thecalmzone.net

Shout – 24/7 crisis text support service, text 85258

Childline – phone 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk

Papyrus HopelineUK – for people under the age of 35, call 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039 967, or email [email protected]