Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated and ashamed. The way you act towards them can change their life…
Time to Change is a growing social movement of people changing how we all think and act about mental health and has been running since 2008. We have come a long way in the last decade, but there is still more to be done. We know that this will be a change in a generation.
The most important thing for schools to know is that by opening up the conversation around mental health, they won’t be ‘opening a can of worms’ and will help to facilitate a shift in culture to the benefit of staff and students alike.
Our own survey in 2012 indicated that of those young people we spoke to who had experienced mental health problems:
- More than half said it stopped them hanging out with friends
- More than a third said it stopped them going to school
- More than a quarter said it made them want to give up on life
One in four adults will experience a mental health problem in any given year and we know that working in a school often means working in a high-pressured environment that might impact wellbeing. If we’re asking teachers to look out for the mental health of their students, it’s vital we ensure staff feel equipped to talk openly about the topic of mental health within a school setting as well as ensure their own mental health.
That is why our work in schools focuses on having conversations and supporting this generation to be more open than any before. We provide free resources like assemblies, lessons, toolkits alongside initiatives like Time to Talk Day for schools to roll out with staff and with students.
3 tips to start the conversation in your school:
- Start small. Sign up to deliver an activity with staff and students on Time to Talk Day, or perhaps deliver an assembly or lesson with students. Whether you are a teacher, school leader or young campaigner, we have free tried and tested resources to download.
- Check our get started pack here to see how you can roll out activity with staff, students and parents/guardians.
- You don’t have to be an expert to open up about mental health. You can follow these 5 simple steps.
We know that if students feel their emotional wellbeing is being prioritised, they are better able to engage in learning and reach their full potential. Cultivating a positive culture around mental health calls for all members of the school community to get on board.
Everyone has a part to play in breaking down stigma and creating an environment in which people feel comfortable discussing the topic of mental health.
About Time to Change
Time to Change is run by the charities Rethink Mental Illness and Mind. For more information on supporting staff and students contact Jennifer Taylor on Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website: www.time-to-change.org.uk/
Time to Talk Day 2019 will be held on Thursday 7 February 2019.