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Give the world a chance: the aftermath of #TimetoTalk day 2020

Now the dust has settled following #TimetoTalk day I thought I’d share my thoughts.

Firstly, it is inspiring to see so many individuals, communities and companies involved in some way with this awareness day. The influx of people sitting down with cake and a cup of tea to have a chat in the workplace is unparalleled to the dark ages of employee wellbeing being last on the list of priorities. 

However, I witnessed on several different platforms, a sort of anti culture forming around days like this. I agree that awareness should be 24/7, it’s not just about training and a hashtag. Ultimately it is about changing culture, but we need to give the world a chance. Unfortunately, the break down of stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health will not happen overnight. 

If you have lived or experienced mental health, awareness days can seem a little clunky and an awkward approach but for many, this is all new to them. Through conversation online and in the workplace, those looking to support others can ask, listen, learn, share thoughts and support each other on how to provide help effectively. 

It’s not about the hashtag. It is about the action and opportunity behind the hashtag. Such awareness days open opportunities to chat, debate and educate. I believe acceptance and understanding involves walking a mile in someone else’s shoes but this applies to all, those experiencing mental health and those trying to understand and support.

We don’t need another tragedy to get us talking. Days like this allow us to be proactive in normalising the conversation. The goal? Let’s all be united in hoping these days don’t have to exist in the future.

The power of a collective voice should not be underestimated. 

Personally I’d stand in the middle of one of Milton Keynes’ famous roundabouts as a human billboard if it spreads the message!

Ross Abbott 

Learning and Development Manager Health and Wellbeing 

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