North Yorkshire County Council is backing a national campaign that encourages people to take the time to talk about mental health and wellbeing.

Time to Talk Day on 1 February forms part of a nationwide push to get people talking more openly about mental heath and asks them to talk about mental health and wellbeing for 24 hours. It is organised by Time to Change, the campaign to alter how we all think and act about mental health problems.

Since its launch in 2014, Time to Talk Day has sparked millions of conversations in schools, homes, workplaces, in the media and online and attracted support from celebrities such as Freddie Flintoff, Stephen Fry and Frankie Bridge.

County Councillor Michael Harrison, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Integration, said said: “We are taking part in Time to Talk Day because mental health is a topic that we should all feel able to talk about. Having these all important conversations can make a big difference to many people. The more we talk, the more lives we can change.”

County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, said:  “One in four of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year, but many of us are too afraid to talk about it. Starting a conversation about mental health might seem daunting but simply sending a text, checking in on a friend or sharing something on social media can break the ice.”

Free resources are available for workplaces and community groups to hold their own events and people can get involved on the day by tweeting #timetotalk or by visiting www.time-to-change.org.uk.

North Yorkshire County Council is a Mindful Employer, making a voluntary commitment to show that the organisation is working to raise awareness of mental health issues in the workplace and to recruit and support individuals who may have mental health issues or have suffered discrimination in the past. The County Council will join hundreds of other organisations, schools and members of the public, who will all be having conversations about mental health on Time to Talk Day.

The County Council, its partners and service users have developed a mental health strategy called Hope, Control and Choice, which gives mental health and wellbeing the priority it deserves. It sets out the commitment of partners to work together so that the people of North Yorkshire have the resilience to enjoy the best possible mental health supported by effective, integrated and accessible services across all sectors. Hope, Control and Choice can be downloaded from www.nypartnerships.org.uk/mentalhealthstrategy

As part of its work to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the county, the County Council is working with mental health charity Scarborough Survivors on a project to ask adults with experience of mental ill health to get in touch and become mental health champions. They want to work with them to encourage people across the county to have more conversations on the subject to help to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. To find out more go to  https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/news/article/become-champion-and-fight-stigma-mental-ill-health