Time to Talk Day

Let’s get talking with Time to Talk Day!

Talking about mental health isn’t always easy, but a simple chat with a student, colleague, friend or family member can make a huge difference. Time to Talk Day is the nation’s biggest mental health conversation. So let’s make some time to have a conversation with those around us and support everyone’s mental wellbeing.

time to talk day

Why is time to talk day important?

Did you know that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year? We all feel low, angry or anxious at times. But when these changes last for a long time or significantly affect us, is when it starts to become a problem.

There’s still a huge stigma around mental health and lots of people suffer in silence. But none of us should fight alone. We should all be able to feel comfortable to talk about how we’re feeling, and feel empowered to seek help when we need it. Talking helps with that!

Mental health affects how we think, feel and act. It’s important at every stage of our lives, from childhood through to adulthood. There’s no right way to talk about mental health, and we shouldn’t force people to talk if they don’t want to. However, by starting up those conversations you can let people know that you’re there ready to talk if they need to.

Conversations have the power to change lives.

Around 1 in 8 children suffer with mental health problems growing up. Recognising the signs that a child might be struggling can be hard. Signs of mental health problems can sometimes look like normal behaviours (especially for older children/teenagers who might keep their feelings and emotions to themselves).

It’s natural for children to feel stressed or anxious about things at school, such as exams, moving to a new school or changes to their friendship groups. But while it can be difficult while they’re experiencing these things, they’re different from longer term mental health issues that affects how they feel every day. It’s hard to know if there’s something upsetting a child, but there’s signs to spot when something might be wrong:

  • Changes in their behaviour
  • Becoming withdrawn and avoiding spending time with their friends
  • Not wanting to do things they usually enjoy
  • Self-harm or neglecting themselves
  • Suffering panic attacks
  • Changes to their eating or sleeping habits
  • Feeling tearful, upset, angry or nervous regularly
  • Persistent low mood or lack of motivation
  • Feeling worthless or experiencing low self-esteem

The earlier we encourage children to talk to us about their feelings and worries, the more chance we can reduce the impact of mental health problems in the future.

Get young people talking.

Starting conversations at school about mental health is a great way to get young people talking. Time to Talk Day is the perfect opportunity to bring it into the classroom or to cover in assemblies. There’s lots of resources online to help you talk to your students about their mental health at school. The Time to Talk Day website has lots of downloadable resources including activities you can do with your students, printable posters and digital content for your school website and social media channels.

We’ve also put together a list of our favourite books that we’ve read with our children which would make a wonderful additional to your school’s library!

Lend an ear.

If a child opens up to you, it can be difficult to know what to do or say. Try to listen carefully and don’t express your own views or feelings. Younger children especially may struggle describing how they’re feeling. Asking questions that are open and not leading will give them the chance to express how they’re feeling. You don’t always need to try and fix the problem – sometimes it can be best to just sit back and listen so they know you’re there to support them.

It’s a big deal for children to find the courage to open up to others about their mental health problems. No matter how hard you try, they might not be ready to open up to you about how they’re feeling. Be patient though – the fact you’ve let them know you’re there when they feel ready might make it easier to talk in the future.

If they’re struggling to talk to you, show them Childline’s letter builder tool. It can help them share what’s happening and how they’re feeling.

Can we talk?

Our priority is the safety of children and young people. Although mental health problems might not directly be linked to their online activities, we believe that doing what we can to safeguard children online can have a huge impact on their wellbeing.

Your school needs to have appropriate filtering and monitoring in place that applies to all devices on your network (even personal ones). We can help with this! Our industry leading web filtering complies with KCSIEPrevent DutyInternet Watch and national standards. 

Get in touch with us to find out more.

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