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People across the country are being urged to have a five minute conversation today (Thursday 5th February) about mental health, as part of a new national campaign which is aiming to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.

The Time to Talk Day, which is led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, is part of a new initiative designed to help raise awareness of mental health issues and encourage people to be more open about any problems that they may be having. The campaign is encouraging members of the public to spend just five minutes talking with family, friends or colleagues about mental health in a bid to reduce any stigma and end the discrimination that may occur as a result of mental health issues. It is hoped that by logging each conversation online, the country will spend a total of 24 hours discussing mental health. 

Mind estimate that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and 9 out of 10 of those have reported experiencing stigma or discrimination. The charity believes that simply taking the time to ask somebody how they are or letting them know that you are thinking about them can be enough to make a difference to how someone with a mental health issue is feeling. 

Mental health awareness and understanding will be one of the key priorities in the coming months as the build up to this year’s General Election gets underway. Each of the main political parties have pledged to put mental health on an equal footing with physical health and campaigns such as this will make a big difference to educating the public about mental health.

Luke Aldred, Head of Sanctuary Mental Health said: “This is an extremely clever campaign and highlights the small role that everyone can play in supporting those with mental health issues. We will definitely be taking part in this initiative, and will also be encouraging others to get involved.”

“The statistics show that almost everyone is likely to know somebody who has been affected by mental health issues, so it is vital that campaigns like this take place to stop people feeling isolated and alone.”

Will you be taking part in this campaign? Tweet us @SanctuaryMH using the hashtag #timetotalk 

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