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Time to Talk Day 2016 (Thurs 4th Feb): let's talk about mental wellbeing! Watch

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    Hello everyone! :hi:

    Firstly, thank you for being interested enough to click on my thread

    This thread is to mark Time to Talk Day 2016 (Thursday 4th February). If you haven't heard of Time to Talk Day before, it's an initiative by the Time to Change mental health campaign ( http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/ ) run by the mental health charities Mind ( http://www.mind.org.uk/ ) and Rethink Mental Illness (https://www.rethink.org/home ). The point behind Time to Talk Day, which happens each spring, is to encourage open dialogue about mental health and mental health conditions, in order to challenge stigma and misconceptions.

    As someone who is a passionate champion of mental health stigma-busting on TSR, I would like to invite you to follow this thread (which hopefully covers some useful information and signposts to various organisations) and to ask any questions, share any thoughts or experiences that you or friends/loved ones have had, or just to say hi!

    So what is this thread for/about?

    ITT (In this thread), I will talk about some general practices that we can all incorporate into our everyday lives, to help with our mental wellbeing. They are not difficult in themselves, and hopefully you will be encouraged by how easy it can be to do little things to enable your mental wellbeing to remain safe, stable and relatively calm. If relevant, I will draw upon my own experiences of mental illness (specifically, schizoaffective disorder, which affects 0.5% of the British population) to illustrate points or get conversations going.

    This thread is NOT an AMA, though you are welcome to ask relevant, sensible questions about my own lived experiences of mental health, and my work as a Youth Wellbeing Trainer with the Mindkit project being trialled in 5 London boroughs ( http://mindkit.org.uk/ ). Trolling or using offensive, derogatory terminology is NOT acceptable and WILL be reported to the CT immediately.

    Why do we need this thread on TSR? I don't have a mental health problem...

    Did you know that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life, and that 1 in 10 school-aged students have a mental health diagnosis? If you are school-aged that means three people in every form class (give or take) have a diagnosed mental health problem. This means they have gone to a doctor and received a diagnosis; this statistic does NOT account for those who are suffering in silence and - for whatever reason - have not seen their GP. This implies that there may be even more people with mental health problems than is currently realised/known about :eek:

    Equally, the demand for university counselling services and the long waiting lists for NHS and university interventions (e.g. therapy or counselling, or even just to see someone for an initial assessment) proves that poor mental health/mental health problems are rife in the UK.

    You personally may not have a mental health problem (yet). That is not, however, to say that this will always be the case. Mental health problems can affect everyone, whether it be you; your loved ones; your friends; your enemies; your teachers; your co-workers, or even celebrities you admire! :sadnod: In any case, the term "mental wellbeing" does not just refer to mental health problems specifically: it is an umbrella term to talk about anything that may affect our mood, thoughts, feelings, or the way we see the world or interact with others. Mental wellbeing is something EVERYONE has and that EVERYONE needs to take care of.

    What should I do if I suspect that I or someone I know could be suffering from a mental health problem?

    If you have noticed something amiss with either yourself or someone you know and you suspect you/that person may be suffering from a mental health problem, it is important to address is straightaway. In the same way that a malignant cancerous tumour will not go away if you ignore it but only gets bigger, worse and less treatable, your mental health is exactly the same. The quicker the interventions, the better the overall prognosis for your mental health (as a general rule of thumb).

    In the majority of cases, the first port of call would be visiting your GP practice :doctor: Whilst the Internet can be useful in terms of contextualising symptoms you may be experiencing, it is important that you do not self-diagnose or attempt to self-medicate. GPs are well-versed in dealing with those with mental health problems, either themselves or by referring them on to specialist teams with more knowledge and greater resources. It is worth noting that there are waiting lists for counselling services, therapy interventions and referrals to psychiatry, so the sooner you see your GP, the better.

    I/the person I know am/is too scared to approach my GP. What should I/they do?

    Whilst you will inevitably need to see a doctor at some point, there are various other places you can turn to for immediate/interim support:

    The Site: http://www.thesite.org/mental-health

    Childline (school-age): https://www.childline.org.uk/Pages/Home.aspx

    The NSPCC (under 16): https://www.nspcc.org.uk/

    Get Connected (under 25s): http://www.getconnected.org.uk/

    Off the Record Youth Counselling: various websites across England for young people to seek counselling services/counsellors. Google for your local area!

    Young Minds: http://www.youngminds.org.uk/

    Sane Helpline: http://www.sane.org.uk/what_we_do/support/helpline

    The Samaritans: http://www.samaritans.org/

    On TSR, there is a Mental Health Support Society in the Mental Health forum :yes:

    ***Please note this is by no means an exhaustive list and is not a substitute for medical intervention. If you or someone you know is at risk/in immediate danger, please go straight to A&E or call an ambulance***

    ******************************** ******************************** ******************

    I think that's enough to get going with. I will be adding to this thread over the next few days and invite open, honest but RESPECTFUL conversation from all members of TSR. Those who have lived mental health experiences themselves or are a carer for someone are most welcome to write at length in here: this is not TLG's thread, this is a Time to Talk thread.

    Please be sensible when contributing: if you are talking about something particularly sensitive, that may upset or trigger others, please SPOILER IT. If in doubt, ask how to do spoilers on TSR. PLEASE DO NOT POST GRAPHIC CONTENT OR METHODS, EVEN IN A SPOILER!

    So let's get talking, peeps! :grouphugs:
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    we needed this OP!!

    :grouphugs:
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    (Original post by Kyx)
    we needed this OP!!

    :grouphugs:
    Thanks for reading, and for posting! Yeah, I think everyone could do with a bit of a reminder about mental health and wellbeing, what it means and how to get help if necessary.

    I plan on talking about things I have learnt in my Youth Wellbeing Trainer course (it's accredited by Middlesex Uni and I've provisionally passed :awesome: ), like the Five Ways to Wellbeing research conducted by the New Economics Foundation, as well as mindfulness :yep:

    Is there anything you can think of that it might be helpful to talkk about/address in this thread? If so, please don't hesitate to say! :hugs:
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Thanks for reading, and for posting! Yeah, I think everyone could do with a bit of a reminder about mental health and wellbeing, what it means and how to get help if necessary.

    I plan on talking about things I have learnt in my Youth Wellbeing Trainer course (it's accredited by Middlesex Uni and I've provisionally passed :awesome: ), like the Five Ways to Wellbeing research conducted by the New Economics Foundation, as well as mindfulness :yep:

    Is there anything you can think of that it might be helpful to talkk about/address in this thread? If so, please don't hesitate to say! :hugs:
    bullying.
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    (Original post by Kyx)
    bullying.
    Thanks for mentioning this - it hadn't crossed my mind as something to specifically talk about but you're right: it can cause so much damage to mental wellbeing, so it's very important to encourage an open, direct conversation about this!

    Will try and write something about bullying in the next few days :yep:
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Thanks for mentioning this - it hadn't crossed my mind as something to specifically talk about but you're right: it can cause so much damage to mental wellbeing, so it's very important to encourage an open, direct conversation about this!

    Will try and write something about bullying in the next few days :yep:
    Thx! :hugs:
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    Another good old mental health thread from my favourite goatherd. :hugs:
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    (Original post by Airmed)
    Another good old mental health thread from my favourite goatherd. :hugs:
    :lovehug:

    Thanks for checking it out hun, much appreciated
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    You helped me with someone I was worried about and I'm so greatful, thanks again. :hugs:
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    (Original post by Black Rose)
    You helped me with someone I was worried about and I'm so greatful, thanks again. :hugs:
    My pleasure! :hugs: My logic is that if I'm gonna be this ill myself, I may as well put stuff I've learnt/experienced to good use so that it at least prevents someone else from getting as ill as I am/was :yep:
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    So far, potential topics for this thread include

    - The Five Ways to Wellbeing (New Economics Foundation)

    - Mindfulness

    - Bullying and its impact upon mental health (both short-term and long-term)
    Edit 6.22pm: add cyber-bullying to this

    - Edit 7pm: self-esteem and self-confidence

    - Edit 4/2/2016 - stereotyping/pigeon-holing, and mental health and romantic relationships
    - eating disorders and (the state of the) mental health services
    - mental health and careers/the workplace/applying for jobs/disclosure


    If anyone at any point has any additional ideas for topics for discussion, just quote me
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    So far, potential topics for this thread include

    - The Five Ways to Wellbeing (New Economics Foundation)

    - Mindfulness

    - Bullying and its impact upon mental health (both short-term and long-term)


    If anyone at any point has any additional ideas for topics for discussion, just quote me
    Cyber-bullying?

    I know its not much of a difference, but you could add some points with the relation to this if you haven't already.

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    Great idea for a thread! If I may, I would love to add that I feel a lot of people think of "mental health" as referring to illnesses such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, or Depression. However, EVERYONE has mental health, the same as we all have physical health. And just as we have to look after our physical health, we need to look after our mental health.

    Stigma is an unfortunate occurrence with mental health and mental illness. For example, when I was doing research I came across some interesting, but scary statistics. A survey found 56% of adults wouldn't employ someone with depression, even if they were the best candidate. Also, despite 30-50% of those diagnosed with schizophrenia being able to work, only 10-20% are employed. You have to ask yourself why? And I would put money on the stigma being a big factor.

    Stigma doesn't just result in name calling and hurtful comments (which are obviously still both wrong) but it prevents people already struggling with horrible illnesses from accessing certain aspects of normal life that we take from granted. It even holds them back in their recovery.

    Through my personal struggles with mental illness, I have come to learn the real impact that stigma has on a person. I've also seen it through my work, firstly as a peer support worker, and now as a student social worker. Talking about mental health is not always the easiest thing to do (but in my opinion, it should be), but it is one of the most important things.

    Anyway enough from me. It would be great to hear from the community on their thoughts around mental health and the stigma attached.


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    (Original post by Impressive)
    Cyber-bullying?

    I know its not much of a difference, but you could add some points with the relation to this if you haven't already.

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    Great idea - have amended my list so that I remember!

    (Original post by bullettheory)
    Great idea for a thread! If I may, I would love to add that I feel a lot of people think of "mental health" as referring to illnesses such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, or Depression. However, EVERYONE has mental health, the same as we all have physical health. And just as we have to look after our physical health, we need to look after our mental health.

    Stigma is an unfortunate occurrence with mental health and mental illness. For example, when I was doing research I came across some interesting, but scary statistics. A survey found 56% of adults wouldn't employ someone with depression, even if they were the best candidate. Also, despite 30-50% of those diagnosed with schizophrenia being able to work, only 10-20% are employed. You have to ask yourself why? And I would put money on the stigma being a big factor.

    Stigma doesn't just result in name calling and hurtful comments (which are obviously still both wrong) but it prevents people already struggling with horrible illnesses from accessing certain aspects of normal life that we take from granted. It even holds them back in their recovery.

    Through my personal struggles with mental illness, I have come to learn the real impact that stigma has on a person. I've also seen it through my work, firstly as a peer support worker, and now as a student social worker. Talking about mental health is not always the easiest thing to do (but in my opinion, it should be), but it is one of the most important things.

    Anyway enough from me. It would be great to hear from the community on their thoughts around mental health and the stigma attached.


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    Hey hun! :lovehug:

    Thanks so much for posting in here. I'd love it if you would stick around to join in and help lead conversations in here/answer questions, because I think you're in quite a unique position and a shining beacon of hope for anyone who may have a mental health problem and who thinks they may never get a job/amount to anything!

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    I love this thread... :jumphug:

    I think a good idea to make a topic about could be maybe self esteem? It effects everyone, good and bad. And it can also be a factor which affects mental health.

    Also, bookmarking. :giggle:
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    (Original post by Midnightmemories)
    I love this thread... :jumphug:

    I think a good idea to make a topic about could be maybe self esteem? It effects everyone, good and bad. And it can also be a factor which affects mental health.

    Also, bookmarking. :giggle:
    Oooh good thinking! Thanks very much. I've added that and self-confidence to the list of things for me to ramble on about
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    Ironically (or perhaps appropriately?!) enough, I seem to be displaying symptoms of mania - a rarer symptom of my schizoaffective disorder, since mine is the depressive type :eek: (For more information on mania, see this link from the mental health charity Mind:
    http://www.mind.org.uk/information-s.../#.VrETQeZJ3IU .)

    Sadly this means that I should probably lay off posting on this thread for tonight :sad: Tomorrow morning I am at uni and then in the afternoon, I am doing my second-ever mindfulness and mental wellbeing assembly as part of Mindkit (see link in the first post for more details)! :headfire: Wish me luck!

    This means no more posts from me (unless I can't sleep tonight, which is a real possibility) until tomorrow evening. Please keep the conversation going until I return
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    I'm all for this thread! :yy:

    Well done, TLG! :hugs:
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Great idea - have amended my list so that I remember!



    Hey hun! :lovehug:

    Thanks so much for posting in here. I'd love it if you would stick around to join in and help lead conversations in here/answer questions, because I think you're in quite a unique position and a shining beacon of hope for anyone who may have a mental health problem and who thinks they may never get a job/amount to anything!

    I'll do my best to pop in as often as I can and try to post some useful stuff and answer as much as I can. That's such s nice thing to say thank you!


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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Ironically (or perhaps appropriately?!) enough, I seem to be displaying symptoms of mania - a rarer symptom of my schizoaffective disorder, since mine is the depressive type :eek: (For more information on mania, see this link from the mental health charity Mind:
    http://www.mind.org.uk/information-s.../#.VrETQeZJ3IU .)

    Sadly this means that I should probably lay off posting on this thread for tonight :sad: Tomorrow morning I am at uni and then in the afternoon, I am doing my second-ever mindfulness and mental wellbeing assembly as part of Mindkit (see link in the first post for more details)! :headfire: Wish me luck!

    This means no more posts from me (unless I can't sleep tonight, which is a real possibility) until tomorrow evening. Please keep the conversation going until I return
    Oh no I hope things calm down soon. If you need to talk, feel free to pm. Feeling on the higher end can be really difficult, but just try to do as much calming things as possible.


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