A North East council is encouraging people to start a conversation about the importance of mental health wellbeing.
To mark Time to Talk Day on Thursday 3 February, Durham County Council is supporting its commissioned service, the Stamp It Out Partnership Hub, to encourage people to start a conversation about mental health. Good mental health means being able to think, feel and react in the ways that help people to live happy lives.
Mental health stigma remains a real issue and as a result, people may not ask for help and support. One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year and the aim of the campaign is to make everyone to feel comfortable talking about mental health, whenever they like.
Talking about mental health reduces stigma, helping create supportive communities where people can talk openly about mental health and feel empowered to seek help when needed.
The 2022 campaign theme is ‘However you do it, have a conversation about mental health’, encouraging everyone to find a way that works for them. Call or text a friend, meet for a walk and talk, create a quiz, share online or find stories to relate to, or discuss mental health over lunch or coffee… however you do it, start the conversation.
The partnership hub works to promote and protect the health of the public, particularly those living with mental health conditions, in County Durham. This is done by educating the public in all areas relating to mental health conditions to reduce stigma and discrimination towards people who experience mental health problems and to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of poor mental health.
Stamp It Out believes that people don’t have to be a superhero to start a conversation about mental health, however if people do need help then Anti-Stigma Kid, a comic character designed by Peter Swan, an Anti-Stigma ambassador for the Stamp It Out Partnership Hub, is on hand.
Peter said: “I created Anti-Stigma Kid so that a serious message could be conveyed in a visual medium accessible to people of all ages. I believe that the colourful graphics can help capture people’s attention and interest and show people that stigma associated with poor mental health can have very real consequences.
“These comics will be distributed at Stamp it Out events and will be left at various community locations including libraries, GP surgeries and community centres. The comic gives the reader ideas about how they can themselves help to challenge stigma and discrimination.”
For more information or to get a copy of the Anti-Stigma Kid comic email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on how to take part in Time to Talk Day, with ideas for activities and resources go to the Time to Talk website for lots of helpful tips at timetotalkday.co.uk/how-to-take-part/ or, for more information about Stamp It Out go to www.stampitoutcountydurham.co.uk
And for access to local mental health care and support services in County Durham visit www.durham.gov.uk/mentalhealth